Twitter has a new study called “Discovering the Value of Earned Audiences — How Twitter Expressions Activate Consumers”. It’s proof that Twitter is great for branding and that it even pushes people to take action in regard to the brands they see.
They collected data by examining the primetime Tweets of 12,000 people – both male and female across all age groups and devices. An excellent sample.
The first thing they found out was that 80% of users mentioned a brand at least once during the measurement period. Nice. Oh wait, the measurement period was September 2013 through March 2014. That 80% doesn’t sound quite so good now.
50% of the Tweeters mentioned a brand more than 15 times in that 7-month period. 99% of Twitter users were “exposed” to a brand Tweet in January.
The upside here is that all of that chatter is free. The brands didn’t pay to have their products mentioned, they were spontaneously mentioned by people (hopefully with a positive spin) which actually makes those Tweets more effective.
We found that both Tweets from brands and Tweets from non-brand sources successfully drive action among consumers (45% and 63% respectively), but combining the two is ultimately more powerful. In fact, 79% of those who recall seeing Tweets from both the brand itself and Twitter users tweeting about brands have taken some brand action online or offline.
This is where things really start to gel. 54% of Twitter users took some kind of related action after seeing a brand mention. Most visited that brand’s website or the brand’s Twitter page. 20% were compelled to search for the brand online and 18% reTweeted the mention, spreading the word even further.
13 to 24 year-olds were a little more likely to take action than older Tweeters so if your product is aimed at the youth of America, Twitter is for you. (Which goes against everything I’ve personally experienced in regard to branded Tweeting.)
All of this sounds like good news for Twitter marketers, but there’s an interesting article over at The Atlantic called “A Eulogy for Twitter” that makes some very good points.
The authors, Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer, point out that even though Twitter has gained users, users are less active than they used to be. Why? Could be the fact that Twitter is full of spam and fake accounts and people who have nothing to say but say it anyway.
Maybe it’s because in trying to go mainstream with videos and large images and web cards, Twitter has alienated the crowd that made it work in the first place. Twitter was the home of the one-liner. The system forced you to make a point with a single, well-crafted sentence. A writer’s dream. But now, it’s mostly a few bits of text with a link to the bigger story.
Now that we have Vine for video and Instagram for photos and Snapchat for whatever that does, why can’t Twitter just be a text service? I used to learn a lot when I scanned my Twitter feed. Now all I see are url.com/letters/ ##@ – I just reviewed 50 Tweets and only two were link free.
Brand recognition may be on the rise, but Twitter’s not the social channel it used to be.