The good news for brands and marketers is that 1/3 of brand followers are interacting via Twitter more this year than last year. The bad news is these same brand followers are very choosy about whom they follow with 80% following less than 10 brands via Twitter.
That was just two of the findings from a recent study conducted by market research firm, Chadwick Martin Bailey and Constant Contact which revealed the ever growing power of Twitter and its effects on brands. Let's start with the aforementioned good news, the fact that a full one-third of brand followers are interacting with brands more this year than the previous year.
This is very significant in that more and more consumers are turning to Twitter to engage and interact with brands. The reasons for this more than likely include the overall popularity of Twitter itself with, according to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, there are nearly 250 million tweets tweeted every single day. But this also speaks to the "social" part of social media, the need and wantonness for people to engage on a personal level with a heretofore unreachable entity - a brand/a company. So Mr. and Mrs. Marketer and Brand, more and more people, AKA consumers, AKA the ones you want to buy your products, services and wares, are turning to Twitter to "speak" with you yet apparently you're not still listening.
At least not when these same folks voice a complaint as per one of my more recent head-scratching posts tells us "over 70% of all customer complaints sent to companies via Twitter fall on deaf ears," which is why I titled the post When It Comes To Twitter, Marketers And Companies Still Don't Get It.
And I say "head-scratching" because one can only scratch their head in trying to explain why so many complaints filed via Twitter go unanswered. But be that as it may, despite the fact brands and companies are not responding to their complaints, not only are consumers becoming more brand engaged via Twitter, they are also unlikely to un-follow a brand via Twitter once they started following them.
Not sure what to make of the 12% who answered "Don't Know" but 75% said they have never un-followed a brand on Twitter, and something tells me that of those who claimed to have never un-followed a brand, very few, if any, did in fact lodge a complaint for if they did and the complaint went unfettered, as it were, they would join the 13% who have un-followed. I have no scientific data to support my theory of course but I think it stands to reason, doesn't it? In other words, hey Mr. and Mrs. Brand Marketer and Brand, wise up and if someone who sends a complaint your way via Twitter, respond to it.
The Power of Twitter
Make no mistake about it, Twitter has become a very powerful brand tool, when used properly and by the right people of course for, as the study showed, 50% of brand Twitter followers are more likely to buy from that brand and 60% of brand followers are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after following the brand on Twitter.
And Now, The Bad News For Brands And Marketers...
Before you do the math, allow me... yes, the total number of percentages shown above equals 101%. Hey, I didn't create the chart, I'm just borrowing it and maybe they do math a little differently in other parts of the world - what do I know? But making the fair assumption that one of the percentages is off by 1%, you can clearly see that the majority of people follow less than 10 brands via Twitter.
To me, along with the fact that 1/3 of brand followers are interacting with brands more this year than the previous year, is the most significant finding of the entire study. Yes, 50% of brand Twitter followers are more likely to buy from that brand and 60% of brand followers are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after following the brand on Twitter... I get that and know how important that is but when people are telling you they are being very selective as to what brands they follow, the fact that so many are more likely to buy and so many are likely to recommend you mean nothing if they are not a follower of yours in the first place.
From the survey we know that the #1 reason people follow brands and companies on Twitter is because they are, above all else, a customer of your company. Sounds so simplistic doesn't it? I mean, of course that's why they follow you - they like your product, service or ware. BUT... you kind of have to have a product, service or ware people will like in the first place before you can even think about having them follow you on Twitter and all the perks and benefits that go with it.
I will leave you an excerpt from a post I wrote last month called Social Media's Dirty Little Secret... "So to all those companies, businesses and marketers out there who think social media will cure all that ails you... I'm afraid you're in for a rude awakening. It can surely help... in a big way. But if your product, your service, your ware... your whatever is not good to begin with, social media - or ANY advertising/marketing campaign will NOT be able to help."