Marketers Aim to Connect with Heavy Twitter Users

You can expect to hear a lot about Twitter this year as the folks behind the venture capital-​funded Twitter logomicroblogging site prepare for an expected IPO sometime in the next 12 months.  The company is busy rolling out new products and hopes to its expand its core audience. Studies are showing that teens are a growing audience for Twitter but other research indicates that a small group of users generate a significant portion of the site’s traffic. It’s these users that marketers should connect with.

Nearly 2 years ago, analysts reported that  .05% of Twitter users were generating about half of site’s posts. This year, research from the University of Illinois shows that the top 5% of users are creating 48% of tweets. With 200 million daily users and 500 million daily tweets, it’s worth doing the math.  There are 10 million heavy users who generate  240 million tweets or an average of 24 tweets a day. Who are these users? Analysts believe they can be broadly divided into major groups – celebrities, media concerns, businesses and blog sites. The research also suggests that elite users tend to follow each other on Twitter. Further, the less active users generally get their information from retweets.

23% of tweets involve a retweet. These are typically from the following sources:

  • Twitter 16.8%
  • Instagram 3.3%
  • Facebook 11.9%
  • Youtube 6.2%
  • Ask 3.2%
  • Tumbler 2.9%

As marketers plan their Twitter strategy, they should also consider the time of day for releases. The busy time for tweeting ranges from 7 to 9 a.m. with about 2 million tweets per hour taking place. From midnight to 3:00 a.m., traffic slows significantly – to about 1 million tweets per hour.

Marketers who connect with heavy Twitter users have a better chance of getting their messages retweeted to a wider group of consumers. To learn more about Twitter users, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Sources: Bosker, Biana. Twitter Dominated by Noisy Minority. Huffingtonpost​.com. 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 1 Jul. 2013; Somerville, Heather. With Twitter Valued at $10 billion. Siliconbeat​.com. 13 May 2013. Web. 1 Jul. 2013; Leetaur, Kalev et al. Mapping the Global Twitter heartbeat. Firstmonday​.org. 6 May 2013. Web. 1 Jul. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.