Reports & Whitepapers Social Media

360i Whitepaper: Twitter & the Consumer-Marketer Dynamic

July 27, 2010

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Today we shared the results of a six-month study tracking Twitter usage by consumers and marketers. This whitepaper, Twitter & the Consumer-Marketer Dynamic, analyzes the current state of Twitter when it comes to how consumers and brands relate. Why are people using Twitter – and how? And given these insights, how can marketers use the service to create deeper connections with consumers?

Just four years after its founding, Twitter has more than 100 million registered users that log a collective 65 million tweets each day. Beyond that, the site records 190 million site visitors per month – indicating that a large volume of people are reading content on Twitter, even if they aren’t participating in the conversations themselves.

The surge of consumer interest has inspired brands to follow suit, and today, businesses great and small are signing on in force. Our whitepaper looks at where brands fit in — and how they can make the most of opportunities on Twitter.

Download the full report:

Key Findings:

Twitter is primarily for people, not corporations. Those of us in the marketing industry tend to see Twitter as a marketing or professional networking tool, but it’s important to remember that it is a consumer-dominated medium.

  • More than 90% of tweets come from consumers
  • Only 12% of consumer tweets mention a brand
    • When someone mentions a brand name on Twitter, they’re most likely talking about a Social Network (22% of mentions), or an Entertainment (17%) or Technology brand (17%)
    • The top brands mentioned on Twitter are Twitter itself, Apple products/brands and Google


Twitter makes the private space public. While marketers have a voice in the mix, Twitter remains an important tool for listening to what consumers are saying in a mostly un-filtered, un-moderated environment. There are ripe opportunities for brands to get to know their customers via online listening.

  • 94% of tweets are personal (vs. professional/self-promotional)
  • 92% of users keep their tweets public
  • 85% of tweets reflect original content (non-RTs)


Companies tend to talk at people – not with them. The opportunity for marketers to become part of the conversation remains vast. For example, many brands use the channel to pass along information, but fail to capitalize on opportunities to truly connect with consumers via two-way conversations.

  • 43% of consumer tweets are conversational (@replies to other users)
  • Yet only 12% of all marketer tweets demonstrate active dialogue with consumers, signifying that most of them aren’t tapping Twitter’s full potential
  • Only 1% of consumer tweets that mention a brand are part of a conversation with that brand


Research for this report was spearheaded by Lara Hejtmanek, Director, Insights and Planning, and Connie Hsu, Analyst, Insights and Planning, with help from Marc Geffen, Jesse Sheriff and Natan Edelsburg. Special thanks to Scout Labs for providing the raw posts needed for this analysis.