The talented team at Brandwatch in the UK have produced a very useful report on Twitter usage by global brands. This report should be read by marketing departments and CEOs. You can read the full report here but some of the findings are listed below:
1) 253 companies, primarily from the US and UK were analysed for the report.
2) Only 2.4% of the companies surveyed did not use Twitter at all
3) 97% of major brands used Twitter in 2013, up from 62% in 2011.
4) It was noted that Apple does not use Twitter or any other social media. Interestingly, Apple’s share price has tumbled to as low as US$400 earlier this year, down from US$700 in September 2012. Of course I’m not blaming that on the fact they don’t use Twitter however it does mean there will be some distance between the brand and customers.
5) Brands use Twitter for both broadcast and engagement purposes but most of them acknowledge that Twitter is best utilized as a two-way channel.
6) 145 brands surveyed (over half) tweet a minimum of 30 times per week.
7) 25% of Brands use Twitter solely as a broadcast channel.
8) 63% of Brands have multiple accounts. Using one for company news and another for customer service was a common example of multiple accounts.
9) Dell has 44 Twitter accounts.
10) Weekends are the best time to reach customers on Twitter. (I don’t think that applies to Asia). However a little research into what your audience prefers goes a long way to successful engagement.
11) Tweets with media (a photo/video) get 3 to 4 times more engagement than those without.
12) The average size of a UK and US Twitter team is 4 people.
13) The maximum number of tweets in a week for the US was 2,500 tweets, compared with 113 tweets in the UK.
14) The Twitter web interface is the most popular platform for tweeting.
15) 20% of the top 100 global brands use HootSuite.
What can Asian firms learn from this data?
For a start, if your firm is not on Twitter, it needs to be. Twitter won’t go away! British and American firms have an average of 4 people on their Twitter team. Most Asian firms don’t even have a community manager, let alone a social team. This needs to change.
Asian firms can use Twitter to engage customers more effectively, deal with issues and retain customers. It is far more effective and less expensive than attempting to use acquisition marketing across traditional channels to retain existing, unhappy or vulnerable customers.
Twitter can be an effective and inexpensive way to drive sales. Low cost airlines in the US generally tweet special offers to their followers before making them available. The cost for the tweet is minimal and its effectiveness can be easily measured.
Asian firms can be notoriously opaque and secretive. Twitter forces firms to become more open and transparent, encouraging trust.
In Asia we tend to follow the US and Europe in many things, especially in marketing. This report gives Asian firms the data needed to support their marketing strategy going forward.