Twitter followers are most interested in receiving information about a brand or extra value, according to a new study from digital marketing firms ExactTarget and CoTweet.

Followers Want Return for Following
“Subscribers, Fans and Followers: Twitter X-Factors” indicates the largest single percentage of Twitter users who follow a company, brand or association on Twitter are motivated to do so by a desire to get updates on future products (38%). Another 32% want to get more information about the activities of a company.


Following these two informational reasons, the next-highest percentage of Twitter users follows a company to receive discounts and promotions (31%). Thirty percent want to get information on upcoming sales, and 28% want to receive “freebies” such as coupons and samples.

Most of the other reasons for following a company on Twitter have some type of informational aspect (such as learning more about a company, 25%, and learning about company topics, 14%). Viral marketers have some work to do, as only 23% want to show support of a company to others and only 20% want to interact with a company.

The most popular reason to follow a company on Twitter with no direct informational or financial benefit is for fun and entertainment (26%).

Daily Twitter Users Contribute Socially
While a relatively low percentage of Twitter users follow a company to spread its praises, daily Twitter users are highly social in terms of general online information-sharing. For example, 80% of daily Twitter users comment on photos and videos, compared to 38% of other consumers.


Similar wide disparities exist across a range of online social activities, with notably high percentages of daily Twitter users engaging in activities such as uploading photos (76%), posting to forums (75%), blogging (70%), and posting ratings and reviews (61%).

Engage Daily Twitter Users
ExactTarget says the key to successfully integrating Twitter into overall marketing strategy is to not approach this channel as a way to maintain direct relationships with the majority of customers. Instead, ExactTarget advises companies commit to serving customers who do use Twitter on a daily basis. They control and influence the content that others are reading about a brand—which can directly impact the bottom line. And if marketers use Twitter appropriately with this important audience, they can add depth and character to customer relationships.

Twitter Has Higher Global Reach for Women
Twitter has a marginally higher reach among women than men globally, according to a new study from comScore. “How Women Are Shaping the Internet” indicates that despite Twitter’s status as a new technology, which is typically tried earlier by men, on a global level, more women are using Twitter. Among all women age 15 and older, Twitter had a reach of about 7% in April 2010, compared to a reach of roughly 6.5% among men age 15 and older.

In the US, Twitter’s reach has followed a less consistent pattern, with Twitter’s reach among men slightly less than 12% in April 2010, fractionally higher than its reach among women.

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