One in five tweets is brand related

One in five tweets posted on Twitter contains some type of inquiry or information about a specific product or service that is brand related, according to a study by a research team at Penn State University.

The study, which examined the phenomenon of microcommunicating and its value as a word-of-mouth medium, included the review and observation of more than a half-million Tweets, writes MarketingVOX.

Specifically, the research team sought out Tweets that named brands to find out why the brand was mentioned — whether it be to review a product, inform others or otherwise. It discovered that brand Tweeters do so in order to connect with products.

"Businesses use microcommunication for brand awareness, brand knowledge and customer relationship," says Jim Jansen, associate professor of information science and technology in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State. "Personal use is all over the board. It may be right up there with email in terms of its communication impact."

The study also revealed that this relatively high percentage of brand-related Tweets is providing companies — which increasingly use Twitter for brand-building, brand awareness and CRM — with a 'rich source' of information regarding their wares.

Though the brand-related Tweets in the study had varying tonality, "a lot of the brand comments were positive," Jansen says, adding that "there are some good products out there, or at least products that people are happy with.

"People are using Tweets to express their reaction, both positive and negative, as they engage with these products and services," Jansen says. "Tweets are about as close as one can get to the customer point of purchase for products and services."

Despite the fact that studies have shown half of communicators think Twitter is a fad and that most Tweets are, in fact, "pointless babble," both Dell and Moonfruit recently announced they had run successful Twitter campaigns that built their respective brands and boosted sales.

The study was conducted by Jim Jansen, along with IST doctoral student Mimi Zhang, undergraduate student Kate Sobel, and Twitter chief scientist Abdur Chowdhury, and was published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Sciences and Technology.

Social networking buzz
What are consumers asking or saying about your brands? FI peeked into company buzz on Linkedin:

  • Do you take vitamin C every day?
  • Can't hurt. Protein, liquids, zinc and vitamin C. but probably want to separate them … probably tastes bad together.
  • Nutrilite Kids Vitamin Review and Giveaway — made for kids but grownups can take them too!
  • Orange juice vitamin C emergenC!! Get better before the big days.
  • Sooo idk if I'm getting sick or what BUTTTTT I just took like 6 vitamin C pills ... this is NOT a joke!
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