Why Twitter Users Are More Influential, Have More Reach and Interact With Brands

Email marketing services provider ExactTarget has released a report titled “Twitter X Factors,” the fourth report in their “Subscriber, Fans and Followers” research series, which is based on quantitative and qualitative research conducted March – April 2010 across a panel of 1,506 U.S. consumers.  The Twitter report looks at why consumers use Twitter, and what makes them choose to follow brands.  Some of the most interesting findings:

Active Twitter Users Are More Influential

According to this report, “Twitter doesn’t need to have the biggest audience, because daily Twitter users represent by far the most influential audience online. ”  Compared to non-Twitter users, daily users of Twitter are:

  • 6 times more likely to publish articles at least monthly.
  • 7 times more likely to post to Wikis at least monthly.
  • 5 times more likely to post blogs at least monthly.
  • 5 times more likely to share coupons on coupon sites at least monthly.
  • 3 times more likely to post product reviews at least monthly.
  • 3 times more likely to participate in online forums at least monthly.

Twitter’s Reach is Double Its Active User Base  (and the Most Active Users Are Using it More)

In total, 23% of online consumers read Tweets at least monthly:  12% of online consumers have created a profile in order to participate on Twitter, but another 11% say they read other people’s Tweets–even though they haven’t created a Twitter account of their own.  And, while many passive consumers decrease their Twitter participation, active consumers are increasing their use: the ones most likely to have increased their use of Twitter in the last 6 months were “Gamers” and “Megaphones.”

What They Want From Brands on Twitter

20% of consumers say that they’ve started FOLLOWING a brand in order to interact with that company – which makes them much more likely to FOLLOW brands on Twitter in order to interact than they are to become email SUBSCRIBERS or Facebook FANS.
Reasons for interacting with brands included:
  • To obtain new, authentic perspectives on companies and to find out what they really stand for.
  • To receive insider information about upcoming products and services.
  • To get to know the personalities behind a company.
  • To receive freebies, samples, and discounts, which are sometimes offered to consumers in exchange for their input.
  • To see how a company responds when its brand is publically criticized.

You can download the full report from ExactTarget here.  (registration required)