Twitter’s Changing Complexion

New research suggests that the laws of natural selection are affecting Twitter. Active users and a critical mass of voyeurs dominate tweeting. The One-Time Charlies are disappearing. The result is a homogenized community that has embraced the format and acts in predictable ways.

The ~20 million people who like Twitter really like and use it. And the rest do something else. Increasingly Twitter is positioning itself as separate and distinct from Facebook, Tumblr and the other social media, if for no other reason that to carve out a value proposition for advertisers. You might recall that about a year ago, Twitter executives were expressing their desire to become “the pulse of the planet” and distancing themselves from being defined as a “social network.”

The new posture differentiates Twitter users in terms of their brand loyalty and their value as advocates and amplifiers for brands.  According to the data from ExactTarget, active twitter users, the people who follow brands on Twitter, are 3X more likely to “amplify the influence of the brand” than their counterparts on Facebook. When you add this data point to the fact that 73% of active Twitter users say they want to accumulate larger audiences, you end up with interest, reach and motive sufficient get more brands to pay more attention to this platform.

The pitch is that Twitter people are bigger blabbers so that if a brand can engage them, they will materially increase the reach of a brand’s message. The RTBs (reasons to believe) that active Twitter users should be part of your communications arsenal are:

  • 72% of active Twitter users are bloggers
  • 70% comment on other blogs
  • 61% write at least 1 product review per month
  • 56% write articles for third-party sites
  • 53% post videos online
  • 50% contribute to wiki sites
  • 48% share deals and coupons

Active content creators and re-tweeters can have more influence on your brand than passive readers. On the basis of these data points TheNextWeb Blog concluded, “What happens on Twitter doesn’t stay on Twitter.”

Twitter users expect brevity and intimacy. They believe that they can get under the skins of the brands they love and can get inside information, direct contact with the company and either first dibs on new products or services and advance notice about deals. They are eager to interact and quick to broadcast their positive and negative brand experiences in real time. They will reward brands that engage them well by passing the word along.

This gives Twitter unique characteristics as a marketing tool. It gives marketers an incentive to devise a separate and distinct Twitter strategy with its own cadence and content.

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One Response to Twitter’s Changing Complexion

  1. Nicky August 26, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Wowa,i was not knowing the nuggets about Twitter,It makes a sense for brand to increase its following on Twitter as it ll be directly and indirectly affecting many more.