Twitter Users Get Up Close and Personal With Brands

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


Stay informed about company activities


Receive discounts and promotions


Get updates on upcoming sales


Ger free samples, counons, etc


For fun or entertainment


Get access to exclusive content


Learn more about company


Show support to company to others


Share ideas, provide feedback


For education about company topics




Get direct message from company


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 Activity

Twitter Users

General Internet Users

Comment on photos or videos



Upload photos



Post to forums






Comment on blogs



Post ratings and reviews



Comment on news



Update own site



Upload articles



Upload video



Upload audio



Post to wikis



Sell online



Post coupons



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... "

For additional information from ExactTarget, please visit here.



4 comments about "Twitter Users Get Up Close and Personal With Brands".
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  1. Roger Toennis from Liquid Media LLC, August 19, 2010 at 9:03 a.m.

    I have this sneaky suspicion that given these results that one or both of the following two things is going on here...

    1. Everyone ExactTarget polled about Twitter has a marketing degree and/or...

    2. 70%+ of the people on Twitter have a marketing degree/agenda.

    I'm thinking it's one or both of the above.

    The interesting question to me is;

    When will Twitter reach a critical mass of marketing clutter that due to it's inward gravitational pull will collapse Twitter itself into a black hole of marketing that sucks all marketers on twitter into it's deathly grip?

    I'm guessing the collapse is already underway and the tipping point was when Twitter itself decided to contribute to the clutter with @earlybird.

  2. Morgan Stewart from Trendline Interactive, August 19, 2010 at 11 a.m.

    Roger, We actually screened people in the marketing profession from participation in this research. You are right that marketers are more enthusiastic about Twitter than non-marketers. This study is about non-marketers.

  3. Roger Toennis from Liquid Media LLC, August 19, 2010 at 6:45 p.m.

    What about spouses and children and parents of marketers? ;-) kidding..

    I think your table "Monthly Online Social Activites " says it all.

    Virtually no one who is a non-marketer is on a social network with a primary goal to interact with businesses/brands/etc.

    I don't care how much I like your brand or businesses, you are not my friend, real OR FB variety

    We are on social nets to be, DUH!, social with friends, family, colleagues and through that activity organically enrich, grow friendships and/or add some new ones.

    After that we occasionally want to use them to find a new job or get new clients via friends giving us personal referrals.

    No one really wants to hear about Coke or Pepsi or Kodak or Best Buy or get product deals as a primary or even secondary reason for being on the social nets.

    Read this study:

    MArketers need to give up on social nets as a place to market to people. It's unwanted and rude to interrupt people while they are talking to friends at a virtual table with ads EVEN IF THOSE PEOPLE LIKE THE PRODUCTS THE MARKETERS IS INTERRUPTING PEOPLE TO PITCH!

    Not sure why marketers think social media is going to be effective for marketing for the long run. It's not going to be.

  4. Morgan Stewart from Trendline Interactive, August 20, 2010 at 1:01 a.m.

    Roger, I think you'll appreciate the full study series available at

    The studies primary objective was to uncover why consumers do engage with brands through Email, Facebook, and Twitter -- recognizing their motivations are different. Each definitely has it's own unique strengths and weaknesses as a marketing channel.

    Parts 1-4 are available now, which includes Emails X Factors and Twitters X Factors (the source for this article). Part 5 (on Facebook) will be released next week.

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