Justin Bieber may have 36m Twitter followers but the microblogging platform has fast become the communication tool of brands rather than celebrities.
Based on an analysis of 10,000 randomly selected tweets, Brandwatch discovered that 3.6% of all posts mention brands – more than the numberof tweets discussing music or celebrities.
According to The Twitter Landscape 2013, TV/film was the most popular topic of conversation, followed by sport and music. But if ‘brands’ was taken as a separate topic, it would be almost as prominent as TV and Sport with 12,600 tweets per minute shown to mention brands ranging from Amazon to Azendi.
In terms of customer interaction, the study found that whilst replies and solo tweets are almost equal in number (38% and 36% respectively), retweets and other tags combined with replies show that the engagement aspect of Twitter dominates that of broadcast.
In particular, brand mentions were more likely to be retweets than replies, suggesting that users were more inclined to publicise brands passively rather than actively creating content. However, that use of links and tags showed that users were bringing brands to the attention of other specific users.
Males were shown to complain more frequently, while females talk about purchase experiences and enter competitions more, said the report.
TV shows that promote a hashtag were also shown to be more engaging, with watchers tweeting 63% more than those that did not. Sport tweeting also recorded high levels of engagement during major events such as Andy Murray winning the US open, showing users clearly demonstrated a sense of ‘live’ reaction to events.
Interestingly, retweet competitions were shown to be an effective form of promotion on Twitter with many user participant tweets coming from shallow accounts, only solely used for competitions.
So what can brands take away from these findings?
“Twitter is a substantial source of opinion and experience about brands – it needs to be analysed, understood and acted upon accordingly. Engage with Twitter in a similar manner to your audience in order to maximise authenticity and develop a human persona. For example, comment and take part in big cultural and sporting events and, where appropriate, talk personally, about experiences and immediate surroundings,” said the report.