As brands continue to increase investments in Twitter as a communication increasing opportunities arise to learn from the activity taking place on the and how to better use it to your advantage from a business perspective.

A Brandwatch report, which has studied over 10,000 random tweets has established some key trends that will impact the way we use Twitter in 2013.

The results, which analysed brand mentions and consumer voice, are especially important for brands to understand Twitter as a communication channel. 

Tweet types

As you can see below Twitter is approximately 62% engagement, 38% broadcast. Females are also more likely to retweet than males, but replies were 18% more often authored by males.

Amongst these conversations across Twitter it was noticed that TV/Film, Sport and Music are the most popular topics of Twitter conversation. 

Twitter Landscape 1

Another interesting statistics was that brands were mentioned more than both music and celebrities - 3.6% of all tweets mention brands, more than the number discussing music or celebrities.

Based on the sample, a staggering 12,600 tweets per minute have a brand mentioned, no surprise here for the impact social media is having on todays businesses. 

Twitter Landscape 2

Gender analysis

Gender anaylsis also plays a key part in what users tweets about. Males dominate topics: Sport, Gaming, News & Politics, compared to Women: Television, Work, Education & Music.

Another interesting statistic is that female tweeters are significantly more likely to tweet about personal matters. The study of these tweets essentially links the similar gender-specific patterns to speech. 

Twitter Landscape 3

The brand landscape of Twitter ranges from large names such as Amazon and Ford to smaller companies like Azendi. There’s no bias link between secondary or tertiary sectors, however B2C brands were far more prominent than B2B equivalents. 

In the hundreds of tweets about TV/film (3.75% of the total dataset), many expressed opinions about ads, some just passing views, some direct responses to the brands.

According to the report males also complain more frequently, while females talk about purchase experiences and enter competitions more. It comes as no surprise that Twitter competitions are very common but not necessarily an effective form of promotion on Twitter.

The most drastic gender split was found in those entering competitions. The majority of tweets driven by competitions came purely from hollow accounts and were used solely for this purpose. 

Twitter Landscape 4

Recommendations for brands 

Twitter is a substantial source of opinions and experience about brands. It needs to be understood, analysed and acted upon in order to develop campaigns for your target audience.

Brands need to engage with Twitter in a similar manner to your audience in order to maximize authenticity and develop a human persona. For example, comment and take part in huge events, and where appropriate, talk personally about experiences and immediate surroundings. 

If you want to keep one step ahead of the competition ensure you keep a weekly calendar of any major social events, and keep up-to-date with news worthy content.

The Super Bowl, for example, received 231,500 tweets per minute, and several brands capitalised on this including Oreo. A week after, the Pope resigned, opening up for brands to create viral tweets & content, with Waterstones Oxford St taking prime position. 

There are obviously clear differences between males and females, and this should be accounted for when running campaigns and measuring brand performance on Twitter. As mentioned earlier men complain earlier, while females talk about purchases and competitions.

Therefore brands must take this into consideration when comparing customer service or promotional performance of brands with different audiences. It’d also be beneficial to understand the gender specific behaviors offline and individuals display similar differences in behavior and language online.

For TV advertisers looking at programs based upon demographics and the Twitter landscape could reveal some important insights. TV tweets are dominated by comments about viewing experiences, and advertisers should make best use of this. 

Also when running ‘RT competitions’ brands should understand the limitations. The majority of accounts have few or no followers and exist for competition purposes. Therefore using a ‘ReTweet’ number can be considered a poor reflection of success. Reach metrics here would give a more accurate insight.

Tim Grimes

Published 1 March, 2013 by Tim Grimes

Tim Grimes is Strategy manager at mycleveragency and a guest blogger on Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter here & mycleveragency here, along with Google+

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Comments (2)

Philippe Jeanjean

Philippe Jeanjean, Head of Digital at Publicasity

Fascinating research - really useful!

Quick question - for the 'Conversation Purpose in Brand Tweets' chart, can you clarify what 'Consumer' refers to?

Is it current customers discussing their experience or does it include more generic conversation around the brand?


over 5 years ago

Jasmine Jaume

Jasmine Jaume, Community Manager at Brandwatch

Hi Philippe,

Thank you for your comment.

To clarify, consumer refers to post-purchase. As we are analysing Twitter conversation, this is largely (but not always) in present tense. For example, 'I'm eating Belvita'.

It focuses on consumer product/service experience, rather than the purchase process.

Hope that helps,

Jasmine (Community Manager, Brandwatch)

over 5 years ago

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