In partnership with The Advertising Research Foundation, FOX and DB5, Twitter conducted a study called “Discovering the Value of Earned Audiences — How Twitter Expressions Activate Consumers”. It was designed to discover how exposure to a brand mention in a Tweet affects the actions of consumers online and offline.
Twitter recruited a representative sample of over 12,000 people: male and female Twitter users, across all age groups and devices, including mobile and desktop. They then appended Twitter behavioral data to the results. They found that mentioning a brand in a Tweet resulted in consumers going to the brand’s website or social media pages to find out more.
The three key findings were:
1. Brands are an integral part of regular conversation on Twitter.
People follow brands they care about on Twitter to engage in one-on-one conversations as well as get unique access to news, product updates and special offers. But Twitter also found that people don’t just follow brands; they talk about them…a lot. In fact, 80% of the Twitter users we surveyed had mentioned a brand in their Tweets during the measurement period of September 2013 through March 2014.
Behavioral data showed that among this group of Twitter users, 50% had mentioned brands in their Tweets 15 times or more over a seven-month period. With so many people following and mentioning brands, it’s not surprising that a whopping 99% of Twitter users in the study were exposed to a brand-related Tweet in the month of January alone.
2. Consumers take action both online and offline after seeing brand mentions in Tweets.
Twitter found that over half of Twitter users reported that they have taken action after seeing brand mentions in Tweets (54%). These consumers take action on Twitter and beyond Twitter. The top two actions people took: visiting the brand’s website (23%) and visiting the brand’s Twitter page (20%). Brand Tweet exposure also drives online search for the brand (20%) as well as brand consideration with 19% of Twitter users in the study saying they’d consider trying the brand. Tweets that mention a brand also frequently spark earned media: 18% of study respondents retweet Tweets mentioning brands.
The research revealed all age groups take action after exposure to brand-related Tweets, with a range from 41% – 59%. However, younger respondents reported the highest likelihood to take some action, at 56% for 18-24 years olds and 59% for 13-17 years olds (vs. 54% average across all ages).
3. The source of the Tweet containing a brand mention affects consumer actions.
Twitter 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.