If you’re working with clients on their social media strategy, it’s likely that you’ve discussed Twitter. The microblogging site limits messages to 140 characters and is extremely popular with specific consumer groups. More marketers are checking out Twitter and using the site’s tools. One way to improve targeting with Twitter may be to understand the types of conversations consumers are having on the site. Pew Research recently outlined 6 dominant types of Twitter conversations.
Overall, Twitter reaches about 14% of the total U.S. population and these users comprise 18% of online consumers. Previous Pew research has shown that these consumers are likely to be younger, on average. In addition, Twitter does very well with Hispanic and African American consumers. When consumers turn to Twitter, specific conservational patterns emerge. Pew analysts have noticed that the interaction between leaders and followers is important and has significance for a variety of reasons, including marketing:
Polarized Crowd: Consumers may belong to 1 or 2 groups that are on opposite sides of an issue. Researchers say these Twitter users ignore each other and use different hash tags to follow what is happening on their side of the issue.
Tight Crowd: Twitter often experiences a surge when a smaller group of people connect because of a specific topic or time-limited event. Examples of these instances are professional conferences or consumers who enjoy a specific hobby. These people may be closely connected and interact with each other.
Brand Clusters: Consumers who are fans of a specific brand – product or service, or a celebrity may interact with Twitter. These consumers are generally ‘disconnected’, especially if the group is large.
Community Clusters: Consumers who are interested in information hubs and are often influenced by a thought leader. These groups could come from around the world or the local community.
Broadcast Network: Twitter has proved to be powerful on the breaking news front. These folks may not be connected to each other or interact with each other because the main focus of these communications is to obtain information.
Support Network: Some marketers are using Twitter service accounts to manage their customer complaint issues.
As marketers explore Twitter, they might want to consider the type of conversations they want to tap into with their messages. As marketing grows more personalized, some marketers might try to target leaders in specific conversational hubs in an attempt to get their message to go viral. Twitter has recently expanded its TV ad targeting product line to help marketers reach consumers who are tweeting about specific shows.
To learn more about Twitter users, check out the Audience Interests & Intent Report available at the Research Store on ad-ology.com.
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.