Twitter Study Shows Value of Marketing Tweets and Best Tactics for Each Retail Category

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Twitter-IPOThough Twitter has 288 million monthly active users, the company is still working to convince business owners, as well as investors, that the brand has value for advertising and marketing purposes. There are good reasons for marketers to believe that a lot can be accomplished with 140 characters and that the people on Twitter are good target audience. Recent studies on the shopping behavior of Twitter users shows the platform is good for inspiring behavior in potential customers and the best ways to do it.

Twitter partnered with Millward Brown and Crimson Hexagon to conduct two studies to help retailers understand how people use Twitter at various points in the purchase process and what drives them to buy. The results of a Twitter-funded study on the effectiveness of Twitter should be taken with a grain of salt, but the results do suggests that the platform has a large number of consumers who use the platform to help them shop online and to navigate each step of the purchase process, from learning about a product to finding where to buy it. This means that marketers should use some of their budget to promote their brand on Twitter.

“From ordering home goods to splurging on spring fashion, shopping is a favorite pastime of Twitter users,” wrote Angie Ficek in a blog post on Twitter. “To help retailers understand how people navigate the purchase process and what drives them to buy, we recently conducted studies with Millward Brown and Crimson Hexagon. The insights we gained can help you maximize sales by sending Twitter shoppers the right message at the right moment.”

According to a Millward Brown survey of women on Twitter who had recently purchased household staples, Twitter users have bigger budgets and buy more often than non-users. These female survey respondents reported they planned to spend about 22 percent more than non-users over the next six months. And according to their own self-reported spending, these Twitter users had made nearly twice as many purchases in the past month. Though this is common sense, the study confirmed that people who use Twitter are more likely to shop online than people who don’t use Twitter. To put a number to it, on average, Twitter users shopped online 6.9 times a month, compared to non-users who shopped online just 4.3 times a month.

The Millward Brown study also showed that nearly half (49%) of female Twitter shoppers say that Twitter content has influenced their purchase decisions, which makes the platform prime real estate for brands. As was stated in the opening, a lot can be accomplished with just 140 characters, such as getting people interested enough to click a link for more information.

The study did provide evidence that shoppers on Twitter are engaged. According to the research provided by Twitter, Twitter users are 160% more likely to stay up-to-date on brand news and promotions, 120% more likely to search for deals and sales and 240% more likely to converse with a brand than retail shoppers on the average social network.

Of course, people don’t engage with each tweet in exactly the same way, and that’s where the other study comes in. Twitter’s work with Crimson Hexagon showed that for each retail category, there was a both a sweet spot with the sales funnel to target them and certain topics that generate engagement for that industry.

Here are the top sales factors for the 5 industries they reported:

  1. Big Box Retail: Customer Service

  2. Consumer Electronics: Advertisements

  3. Apparel: Price

  4. Home Improvement: Seeking Suggestions

  5. Grocery and Pharmacies: Recommendations

This information can help marketers create better campaigns that are focused on consumers’ needs at the point in the sales cycle when they are most likely to be searching for information on a brand’s products. Taken together, the data paints a picture of a Twitter as an extremely useful platform for resourceful marketers, which supports past research on Twitter.

For more information on Twitter, read this article on a possible Twitter plan to tweets back into real-time search on Google.

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