The Research of Twitter Audience: Preference and Behavioral Aspects

In an ever dynamic world of digital influence, it becomes increasingly important for marketers to know their targeted audience in order to build the right advertising and/or marketing campaigns and promotion strategies, across the same social networks. Armed with the right knowledge of these audiences, business advocates stand a far greater opportunity for conversions than competitors who are in the dark.

Twitter is increasingly viewed in terms of being an instrument of interaction with users, current users and potential customers too. With this in mind, let us try to better understand what audience is there, and the “who” of whom we are engaging with. Below the reader will find some basic, and some more in depth insights into Twitter as an audience.

The Basic Description of the Audience On Twitter

According to the Digital Strategist web index for March 2012 the number of registered users reached 500 million users.

Four facts about twitter audience:

1. Over a third of users use Twitter via mobile phones.

More twitter stats - mobile2. The most popular users are opinion leaders, celebrities.

3. The site itself uses only a quarter of users, the remaining 75% use third-party applications.

4. The service bitly found the best time for posting on Twitter, as the audience in these segments is the most active:

The Twitter use graph

Studies show that the best bet is to post to Twitter in the afternoon, early in the week, so at this time more likely to achieve a greater number of audiences and getting more clicks. On Friday, after 15:00 and on weekends is to avoid any post, as you’ll tweets “wasted.”

Psychological Characteristics of Twitter Users

  • ~20% of users – “informer”, 80% – “meformer”~

After studying the 350 messages collected on Twitter, Naaman (2010) identified two different types of user:

¾    Informer: 20% – disseminate information and respond to the posts of other users;

¾    Meformer: 80% – mainly to publish reports about themselves.

Informers usually have an extensive social network, perhaps because they spread more interesting information, and do not talk all the time about them.

  • ~Single and short-term trends~

Positions on a particular topic (twitter-trends) are rarely delayed more than a week, and usually no more than a few days (Kwak et al, 2010). Most of those occur only once and then die, as a rule, never to return. 85% of these trends associated with the news.

Perhaps the reason for this is that the trend is used to describe the specific words and phrases, often very specific.

  • ~Existential anxiety can motivate users~

Twitter is often unkindly referred to as an ideal platform for the narcissistic impulses. It allows you to collect followers, talk about themselves without having to listen to anyone else.

In a small study by Qiu et al (2010), it was suggested that extroverts characterized existential anxiety, which motivates them to post messages. However, this hypothesis was not confirmed, at least for extroverts.

  • ~Twitter is less social and more informative~

Johnson and Yang (PDF, 2009) supported the idea that Twitter is more informative and less social resources than in other social networks. They found that people belong to other users of Twitter in the first place as an interesting source of information.

Also participating in the study received the highest satisfaction from the information found through Twitter. At the same time, its social aspect of the respondents did not consider it particularly enjoyable in spite of positive expectations.

Network analysis also reveals the importance of reducing the social aspects of the site. Twitter shows a relatively low level of reciprocity in comparison to other social networks. Only 22% of Twitter users are connected to each other, compared to 68% on Flickr, and 84% at Yahoo! 360.

Kwak et al (2010) found that the average “distance” between people on Twitter – 4.12: t ie, 93.5% of users are connected by a chain of 5 or less followers. This is mainly because Twitter is dominated by a small number of celebrities who create around a much larger unit than would be expected in social networks.

  • ~Twitter users vs. brands~

As users follow brands on Twitter, on the average much twitter users watch for 1-5 brands in order to obtain discounts.