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Should Your Twitter Ads Contain Human Faces or Graphics?

December 14, 2020 • By

Scott Ayres

Should Your Twitter Ads Contain Human Faces or Graphics?

Twitter ads resulted in $1.62 billion in revenue for Twitter in the United States in 2020.

With 340 million Twitter users and 186 million monetizable daily users, Twitter is holding steady as a viable option for marketers looking to up their advertising game.

Determining what type of ad to run on Twitter is perhaps the biggest challenge (other than a lack of ad budget!) that marketers face.

The Social Media Lab recently conducted an experiment on Instagram comparing the results of ads with human faces versus graphics and discovered that human faces won by a landslide.

So, I wondered what our results would be for a similar test on Twitter ads. After all, not every social media platform is the same or sees the same post types succeed.

Hypothesis: Twitter Ads with human faces outperform ads with graphics.

twitter ads

Testing Humans vs Graphics on Twitter Ads

Using the @Agorapulse Twitter account, we’ll evaluate ads with human faces on them versus graphics.

Our main determination of which option is more effective will be the average cost per click (CPC), we will also take a look at the amount or clicks the ads received.


For this test, the Social Media lab used 2 variations of 3 different ads to gather data.

Within each ad, the text and link traffic were sent to were the same, the only difference was the image used.

Here are examples using human faces:

twitter ads

twitter ads

twitter ads

Here are the Twitter ads using graphics:

testing twitter ads

twitter ads

twitter ads


For this test, we ended up spending 873 (euros) on ads with human faces on them and 896 on ads with graphics. Sometimes, your full budget doesn’t get spent due to inventory on Twitter, our budget for the ad was 1000 per ad category.

Our budget is in euros because our Twitter account is based in Paris, France.

In US dollars, these budgets equate to roughly $1,034 for the ads with human faces and $1,063 on ads with graphics.

Making this Twitter ads test on the Social Media Lab over $2,000 USD!


All ads were targeted to English-speaking Twitter users only since the links we sent traffic to were in English.

We also segmented this target further to include only Twitter users in the United States.

Our main target also included users that followed the @Agorapulse Twitter account as well as what Twitter considered a look-alike audience from followers of that account, plus Social Media Examiner and the Social Media Lab.

We do this sort of targeting to ensure we are showing our ad to those most likely to be interested in our content.

Are Twitter Ads with Human Faces Better?

The data from the Twitter ads and have very conclusive data regarding the performance of Twitter ads with faces versus graphics.

We’ll look at the average clicks and CPC of each ad group. 

Averaging the ads together gives us more scientific evaluation as opposed to solely looking at the results of one ad compared to another.

Twitter Ads with Human Faces:

  • Average clicks – 144
  • Average CPC – 2.84

Twitter Ads with Graphics:

  • Average clicks – 119
  • Average CPC – 3.62

Total clicks were 574 for the Twitter ads with human faces, and 475 for the ads with graphics, equaling 20.84% more clicks for human faces on ads.

The average CPC was massive 21.55% lower on the Twitter ads with human faces.

testing twitter ads

Twitter ads with human faces outperformed the ads with graphics, much like we saw in our Instagram ads experiment.

But is this statistically significant? If you or I were to run this ad again, could we expect the same results?

Using Neil Patel’s A/B split testing tool and using total Impressions and total Clicks as our points of measurement we find, in fact, this is 100% statistically significant:

testing twitter ads

(A represents the Twitter ad with graphics, B represents the Twitter ads with human faces.)

Final Conclusion Regarding Human Faces vs Graphics on Twitter Ads

Based on our findings the Social Media Lab confidently concludes that Twitter ads containing human faces outperform ads using graphics.

Drastically lower CPC, much more clicks, along with being 100% statistically significant, lead us to this conclusion.

Does this mean you should never run ads on Twitter using graphics? No.

But I would give caution moving forward using ads with graphics on Twitter, especially if the ad were to drive traffic.