Thursday, August 19, 2010

Twitter Users Get Up Close and Personal With Brands

From Center for Media Research

A new study released by ExactTarget finds consumers who are active on Twitter are three times more likely to impact a brand's online reputation through syndicated Tweets, blog posts, articles and product reviews than the average consumer.

The study supported the general findings that microbloggers have many reasons to follow brands they like. Though discounts and sales are toward the top of the list, news and information about a company and its products are primary. The survey of more than 1,500 consumers identifies top motivations for following brands on Twitter and provides new insight into consumers' expectations for interacting with brands online.

Reason to Twitter Company or Brand (% of US Twitter Users)
Reason to Twitter% of Users
Get updates on future products
38%
Stay informed about company activities
32
Receive discounts and promotions
31
Get updates on upcoming sales
30
Ger free samples, counons, etc
28
For fun or entertainment
26
Get access to exclusive content
25
Learn more about company
25
Show support to company to others
23
Share ideas, provide feedback
20
For education about company topics
14
Recommended
14
Get direct message from company
10
Source: ExactTarget, August 2010

eMarketer estimates there are 26 million monthly users of Twitter in 2010. That makes users of Twitter a relatively small minority of internet users, at 14.6%, but their voice is disproportionately loud.

Morgan Stewart, principal, ExactTarget's research and education group, says... "what happens on Twitter doesn't stay on Twitter...  the number of active Twitter users is less than Facebook or email... (but) the concentration of highly engaged and influential content creators is unrivaled-it's (the) gathering place for content creators whose influence spills over into every... corner of the internet."
According to the report, daily Twitter users are about three times as likely as internet users on average to upload photos, four times as likely to blog, three times as likely to post ratings and reviews, and nearly six times as likely to upload articles.

Monthly Online Social Activites (April 2010, % of Daily Twitter Users vs. General Internet Users)
Social ActivityTwitter UsersGeneral Internet Users
Comment on photos or videos
80%
36%
Upload photos
76
27
Post to forums
75
25
Blog
72
14
Comment on blogs
70
23
Post ratings and reviews
67
20
Comment on news
61
15
Update own site
59
13
Upload articles
56
10
Upload video
53
10
Upload audio
50
12
Post to wikis
50
7
Sell online
49
14
Post coupons
48
10
Source: ExactTarget, August 2010

Key findings of the research include:
·      Twitter users are the most influential online consumers; 72% publish blog posts at least monthly, 70% comment on blogs, 61% write at least one product review monthly and 61% comment on news sites.
·      Daily Twitter users are 6 times more likely to publish articles, five times more likely to post blogs, seven times more likely to post to Wikis and three times more likely to post product reviews at least monthly compared to non-Twitter users.
·      23% of online consumers read Twitter updates at least monthly.
·      11% of online consumers read Twitter updates, but do not have a Twitter account themselves.
·      20% of consumers indicate they have followed a brand in order to interact with the company, more than become email subscribers or Facebook fans for the sake of interaction.
·      Men are more than twice as likely as women to follow brands on Twitter to interact with the company (29% compared to 13%).
·      Nine out of the 10 most common motivations for consumers to follow a brand on Twitter involve consumers seeking information from a company.
Tim Kopp, ExactTarget's chief marketing officer, concludes that "Twitter offers marketers an unrivaled opportunity to instantly and personally interact with customers on behalf of a brand... "

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