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Why brands should take Twitter seriously!

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Most brand managers don’t take twitter seriously. They often feel it is more of medium for celebrities and their fans to exchange pleasantries and rake up controversies. But sadly most Marketers are myopic when it comes to twitter.

A recent report from Constant contact a US based social media consultancy had some interesting findings. According to the reports, almost 50% of Twitter users following a brand would make purchase a product from the brand. That is an interesting finding which indicates an almost 60% conversion ratio just by your followers. So if for example, I am a brand, and I have 1500 followers, then I can assume that almost 750 of them would do business with me this year.

But the most interesting finding was that almost 60% of them would refer to their followers, who might not be my customers at all. Now this is a very significant finding and gives a perspective on the market expansion / brand expansion capabilities of Twitter.

twitter-followers-brand-referral

So in other words a Twitter savvy brand manager can go from repeat business to making markets just by engaging with his own customer / followers on Twitter. The interesting part is that the referral rate is higher than the buying rate which itself signifies that Twitter is an excellent market expansion tool. [source report]

10 Quick Facts You Should Know About Consumer Behavior on Twitter!

Obviously brands have to engage their customers on the network like how they do in the physical world. But the sheer amplification provided by Twitter is way beyond any traditional marketing channel.

In a article earlier, I had argued that Twitter was like the telegraph of the internet. So basically many consumers look to their peers on Twitter talking about the brands that they follow and how the brand inspires them. Also long before a traditional media campaign hits the consumer he is already talking to his followers on twitter.

Also another interesting point that came out was that consumers were more likely to read blogs by brands than about brands. Hence more reason for the brand managers to engage the followers regularly. Finally most consumers follow less than 10 brands and hardly anyone unfollowed a brand.

The findings of the report are very significant for increasing the marketing investment in social media and specifically for Twitter. A good marketer would know that the challenge is to keep the consumers engaged in a discussion, Twitter is only one such platform but would continue to grow as a significant channel.

  1. Dr Vikram says

    @Arch These are very excellent observations. I think Twitter is the least reciprocal of all social networks. But the I am assuming that people would buy a product recommended by a peer because they trust him and they share the same value systems.

  2. Arch says

    @Rohit – What you are referring to is celebrity endorsed tweets. Although this is used largely for self promotion (Shahid Kapoor urging people to watch Mausam and Sonam Kapoor for Ayesha), there are cases where celebrities too tweet about movies they like, which may not necessarily feature them – Eg: Amitabh Bacchan on Rockstar featuring Ranbir Kapoor.

    @ Dr Vikram – Having said that, the key here is figure out if you trust someone’s judgement enough to follow it or try out a product they recommend. My understanding is that while you can expose the product to a lot more people via twitter (compared to the traditional marketing methods), you may not be able guarantee a purchase unless you have generated a lot of trust for your brand.

    Like any other social network, Twitter works on the principle of reciprocation. If someone follows you, you oblige by following them back – At least that is what the vast majority do. In such a case, would you really trust the recommendations of someone who you follow due to a sense of obligation and not because you truly appreciate the value he brings in his recommendations?

  3. Dr Vikram says

    Hi Rohit

    I have heard of this practice and it is highly unethical. What I am talking about in the article are peer to peer recommendations, that is if you recommend a brand to me on Twitter.

  4. Rohit says

    Few days ago I had read in the newspaper that celebrities take a huge amount from the companies to suggest the product to their huge number of followers. So this is just like a TV ad where celebrities promote some product and their fans buy them.

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