Most Twitter Users Follow Brands
A new report from Edison Research's Arbitron/Edison Internet and Multimedia Series, Twitter Usage In America: 2010, contains all sorts of interesting Twitter facts. It presents three years of tracking data from a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,753 Americans conducted in February 2010.
A key finding for marketers: Fifty-one percent of Twitter users said they follow at least one brand on a social network, according to the report. That number drops to just 16 percent for users of all social networks.
What's more, 42 percent of Twitter users said they use the tool to learn about products or services, and 41 percent said they use it to provide opinions about them. Twenty-eight percent said they use Twitter to look for sales or discounts, 21 percent use it to purchase products or services, and 19 percent use it to seek customer support.
Here are some other key findings from the report:
- Awareness of Twitter has exploded from 5 percent of Americans age 12 and over in 2008 to 87 pecent in 2010. By comparison, Facebook's awareness is 88 percent.
- Despite near equal awareness, Twitter trails Facebook significantly in usage: 7 percent of Americans (17 million people) actively use Twitter, while 41 percent maintain a profile page on Facebook.
- Nearly two-thirds of active Twitter users access social networking sites using a mobile phone.
- Blacks make up nearly one-quarter of the U.S. Twitter population, twice their share of the total population of the country. In contrast, whites make up more than 69 percent of internet users, but about one-half of Twitter users.
The report said that high usage in the black community could be related to the mobile nature of Twitter. While many users update their status with a PC, mobile devices are a major conduit of microblog posts. Research shows that blacks and Hispanics are both more likely than whites to use the mobile web, especially among younger users.