A new study has revealed that despite more than 100 million registered users and a record 65 million tweets each day, the marketing industry is still failing to capitalize on opportunities to connect with the consumer-tweeter. The whitepaper, Twitter & the Consumer-Marketer Dynamic, produced by digital agency 360i, looks at how consumers and brands are using twitter and analyses how marketers can use the networking tool to create stronger virtual ties with their customers.
A six-month study of Twitter usage by consumers and marketers unveiled the following insights.
- Twitter is primarily for people, not corporations: More than 90% of tweets come from consumers; while only 12% of consumer tweets mention a brand – top brands mentioned include Twitter itself.
- Twitter makes the private space public: 94% of tweets are personal (versus professional/self-promotional); 92% of users keep their tweets public; 85% of tweets reflect original content (non-RTs).
- Companies tend to talk at people and not with them: 43% of consumer tweets are conversational (@replies to other users); yet only 12% of all marketer tweets demonstrate active dialogue with consumers, signifying that most of them are not tapping Twitter’s full potential; only 1% of consumer tweets that mention a brand are part of a conversation with that brand.
The report continued: “The opportunity for marketers to become part of the conversation remains vast. For example, many brands use the channel to pass along information, but fail to capitalize on opportunities to truly connect with consumers via two-way conversations.”
Sarah Hofstetter of 360i summarised: "Marketers use Twitter to broadcast, while consumers use it to converse."
However, what if companies were to adopt the tweeting habits of the consumer? Is it fair to say that this would compromise commercial viability? The argument could go back and forth but the report dished out one key ingredient often overlooked – online listening.
The report highlighted: “While marketers have a voice in the mix, Twitter remains an important tool for listening to what consumers are saying in a mostly un-filtered, un-moderated environment. There are ripe opportunities for brands to get to know their customers via online listening.”