Pew Internet Research released a fascinating study this week on the six types of conversations that take place on Twitter. Although this is not a "marketing study," there are three Twitter takeaways in this research that brands should pay attention to.
1. The demographic on Twitter is not representative of the general population. What does that mean for brands? Unlike Facebook, you won't find a general cross section of humanity there so you may want to match your brand message to the demographic most dominant in the audience. Pew describes the audience as young, mobile, and educated. So what if your product is for everyone and you want to use Twitter? Make sure you are delivering your messages in that cultural framework. Become familiar with market research on that age group and work to frame your messages to meet their needs. Take a look at some marketing demographic sites for some help with personas, like this one shared by Kelli Matthews, a PR professor at the University of Oregon.
2. Brand clusters tweet about brands, but they are not connected to each other. This is the biggest case for influencer/advocate marketing I've seen yet. When brands have huge numbers of followers, it's important to remember that often, their only connection to each other is through the brand. What does this mean for brands? It's important to develop advocate groups or brand ambassadors that will create that all important word-of-mouth for you and help you build clusters of relationships where people share and recommend your content. These circles can gain traction and spread your message organically through established relationships.
3. Community clusters make the case for channel diversification and monitoring. Community clusters are small groups that gather around a popular topic, each with their own influencers, audiences, and sources of information. What does this mean for brands? Widen your circle of influence, or branch out. When time and resources are scarce, this is the hardest thing to do. It's so easy to stay in the comfort zone of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And there's nothing wrong with that. Every brand needs a home base where their social media net can catch the most fish. Trying out new channels and new content styles may catch the eye of new fan groups.
In addition, maintaining a healthy monitoring system, such as Hootsuite or a paid tool if you have the budget, will keep you current on what the conversation is around your brand, topics of interest to your fans, and provides a resource for finding new influencers.
The new Pew research is worth a look. I'd like to hear what your takeaways are.