Earlier this week, Pear Analytics released a white paper that classified 40.5 percent of Tweets worldwide as "pointless babble" and only 8.7 percent as having "pass-along value." Naturally, the marketing universe blew up in controversy while the skeptics cackled with glee and piled on with more than a few "I told you so's" mixed in for good measure.
Here's an interesting stat that got buried in all the teeth-gnashing and schadenfreude: 37.5 percent of messages are conversational. That probably includes tweets like "This Long John Silvers fish taco is great!" or "The checkout girl at Meijer absolutely made my day today!"
When you consider that 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices, this has huge implications for customer experience. People are no longer just "putting up and shutting up" about a bad experience or poor customer service at a store or restaurant. They are whipping out their phone and tweeting about it as it happens. As we all know, tweets can spread very quickly at the speed of a simple "RT" and before you know it, what was just a simple tweet has blown up into a full-blown crisis or lovefest. I'm sure any retailer would definitely consider those tweets advanced intelligence and classify them "valuable" and not "babble."
Bottom line: One person's babble is another's source of a brewing crisis or next great idea.
What do you think? Am I right? Am I off-base or misinterpreting the data?
eMarketer: What are people tweeting about?
Pear Analytics: Twitter study reveals interesting results about usage
Disclosure: Both Long John Silvers and Meijer are clients of my employer, Empower MediaMarketing. But we like them and would write about them anyway.