While the questions still remain about how many people are really using Twitter versus the number that have “accounts” there are, studies are being conducted to see what users expect from brands on the service.
In short, about 60% of the people who have over 100 followers expect some kind of interaction from brands when they mention them in the microblogging service. Emarketer shares this data
As per usual, consumers expect things to happen exactly how they think it should which often spells difficulty for the service whose processes may not give everyone the attention they deem worthy.
According to May 2011 research from InboxQ, a service to feed businesses questions from Twitter, Twitter users—especially ones with more followers and thus, presumably, more experience—tend to ask questions with tweets directed at all followers rather than using @ replies or direct messages. This means questions are often not directed at a relevant brand, but many users want brands to answer them anyway.
If the next chart is any indication, brands should really want to be there when questions are asked. Why? Because it solidifies a relationship with customers and helps them make the decision to buy.
So if you are a brand or even a small business and you feel like Twitter isn’t your place to concentrate you may be doing your business a disservice. At the very least there needs to be some form of social media monitoring / listening system in place.
It’s pretty simple. Things are being said. Questions are being asked. Businesses can stick their heads in the sand and act as if nothing is being said or they can at least keep an ear to the ground to provide the evidence that they should or should not be involved. If this information is even remotely true then it’s obvious what people using Twitter expect. If you aren’t there to meet those expectations you lose.