By Claire Charron, Global Analyst; Cullen Schiele, Insights & Planning Intern; Victoria Cana, Insights & Planning Intern; and Evann Clingan, Senior Insights Analyst at 360i.
Brazil has been called the “country of the future” due to its booming economy and growing cultural influence. A rapidly emerging market, South America’s largest nation played host to this summer’s FIFA World Cup events, and will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. These massive global events have and will undoubtedly give rise to a flurry of cultural moments during which marketers from all corners of the world will seek opportunities to connect with consumers.
In an effort to learn more about this timely and influential market, 360i’s Insights & Planning group set out to explore the role of culture when it comes to how, where and with what purpose Brazilians engage on Twitter. Brazil proved to be an interesting target, as it is emerging as one of South America’s most social-media savvy countries, with 79 percent of Internet users already active on social platforms (an adoption rate that is fast approaching that of the United States) (eMarketer “Social Network Users in Brazil,” April 2013). More specifically, Brazil is one of the fastest-growing countries when it comes to Twitter user growth.
Twitter jumped from seventh place in October 2013 to third place in January 2014 when it comes to share of visits across social platforms in Brazil. The findings in this report can be used as an indication of Brazilian consumers’ general behavior across social media overall and offer important implications for marketers aiming to connect with this audience on Twitter in particular. This study is part of a larger series that compares Twitter usage in the U.S., U.K., India and South Korea.
Brazilians use Twitter at specific times of recreation throughout the day. The volume of tweets posted in Brazil peaks during the breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. This trend is unique to the Brazilian market and juxtaposes the other countries analyzed in this study (U.S., India, South Korea and the U.K.), as they tend to post during their recreational time when they can be devoted to post creation.
Brazilians use Twitter as a means for self-expression. Compared to other markets analyzed in this study, Brazilian Twitter users are less likely to interact directly with other users, and have a high proportion of individually-focused status updates. This indicates a Twitter culture that values self-expression over connectivity.
People in Brazil exhibit one of the most diverse spectrums of emotion in this study, indicating that their use of the platform is a direct reflection of their offline expression. Instead of conveying a disproportionate amount of positivity over negativity (as is the case in other markets, namely the U.S. and the U.K.), Brazilian Twitter users are inclined to share any emotion they feel, good or bad. This could again signal a tendency to use Twitter as a medium for unmoderated self-expression instead of a cautionary portrayal of one’s best self.
Following brands on Twitter is common in Brazil, though consumer-brand interaction is low as compared to other markets. A majority of users follow brands on Twitter, primarily for updates and to show their support (i.e showcasing to others that they are fans of the brand). That said, users do not often engage with these brands, but it is likely that engagement between brands and consumers will increase when marketers speak to users on a personable level.
Brazilian Twitter users post during specific times of recreation throughout the day
Twitter users in Brazil post most frequently during breakfast, lunch and dinnertime hours. This behavior is unique to Brazil when compared to the Indian, South Korean and U.K. markets — in which users post more evenly and consistently throughout the day — and when compared to the U.S. market, in which tweet volume peaks significantly in the evening.
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Out of the five markets we studied as part of this series, Brazil demonstrated the lowest proportion of tweets posted from a smartphone; however, at 38 percent of posts originating from a smartphone, Brazil far exceeds the 20 percent penetration of the overall market. Confirmed in our interviews with users in-market (Experian Marketing Services, 2014), a majority of Twitter users in Brazil do have a smartphone. In fact, because Brazilians tend to go out for lunch, a majority of midday tweets originate from smartphones. This behavior is expected to increase as the smartphone penetration rate is projected to grow by 15 percentage points in just three years (emarketer “Global Mobile Landscape” 2014).
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What this means: In the Brazilian market, a brand’s effectiveness on Twitter will vary with time of day. Marketers seeking to connect with Brazilian consumers on the platform will want to schedule their posts during these three peaks in order to reach the greatest number of people. While users may be passive on Twitter throughout the day, these peaks also represent when Brazilians have the most down-time, and thus are more likely to spend time participating in discussions.
Twitter is used by Brazilians as a mode of self-expression
Our deep dive into the intent and content of users’ posts demonstrates that Brazilians leverage Twitter as a means for self-expression. Nearly 50 percent of the tweets studied were posted to share a status update (“status update” defined as one-way usage of the platform rather than engaging in interpersonal dialogue), which was larger than all other markets analyzed in the study. Instead of using Twitter to give or share advice with others, Brazilians tend to instead share their own opinions, unprompted.
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Moreover, the most prevalent category of posts shared by Brazilian Twitter users was “Original Content,” which accounts for nearly three-quarters of all posts, compared to an average 36 percent in other markets. “Twitter Conversations” (i.e. @ replies) are the second most prominent type of post at 13 percent, which is significantly lower than the 34 percent average seen across other markets. The abundance of original content and motivation to post status updates reinforce the notion that Brazilian Twitter users are less engaged with each other on the platform and instead prefer to talk primarily about themselves, to no one person in particular.
The breakout of the Brazilian conversation sample by topic reveals even more indications of a self-centric Twitter community. “Personal Views,” which encompass opinions and remarks about various topics, make up an overwhelming amount of Brazilian tweets with 62 percent of the topic share. While personal image may only be tangentially related to the concept of a self-centric Twitter culture, the topic of “Health & Beauty” (encompassing subjects like makeup and fashion) was most prevalent in Brazil compared to the other markets, representing 18 percent of all posts analyzed.
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What this means: Understanding that Brazilians use Twitter as a means of self-expression is an indicator to brands of the type of tone of voice that users will find most personable. Because users are personal in their own interactions, brands should reflect this transparent tone to spur engagement from Brazilians on Twitter. There is an opportunity to drive engagement among Brazil’s highly self-expressive culture by exhibiting a stronger brand personality and creating more personalized messaging in a friendly tone of voice.
Brazilian Twitter users are self-expressive in the full spectrum of positive and negative emotions
Brazilian Twitter posts convey a more evenly distributed spectrum of emotion than the other markets analyzed for this study. Joy is the most prevalent emotion, comprising 25 percent of the total sample. Trust, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Anticipation each represent 10 to 12 percent of the emotions conveyed by Brazilian users.
Compared to markets like the U.S. and the U.K., where emotions other than Joy are less likely to be shared publicly on social media, the Brazilian market’s even representation of emotions correlates to a more open use of the platform where users are comfortable sharing both the positive and negative feelings of everyday life. The inclination to post liberally about whatever emotion one is feeling in the moment — including negative emotions such as Disgust, Anger and Sadness — indicates a higher level of comfort with online self-expression.
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Users in Brazil prefer to be as open as possible about what it is they are feeling or experiencing, in spite of the highly public nature of the Twitter platform. This openness is unique to the Brazilian market even when compared to markets with a high percentage of Joy expressed as many other countries face the cultural taboo of complaining too much or “over-sharing” in social media.
What this means: Because public Twitter updates are often a direct representation of how consumers are feeling, brands can learn a great deal about consumer opinions from listening to these conversations. Understanding consumer wants and needs is especially important when it comes to maximizing the audience’s emotional potential. Brands should be conscientious of the higher levels of both positive and negative feedback or engagement and attempt to mitigate complaints in order for the extreme positivity to shine through and influence positive word of mouth.
Following brands is common, though consumer-brand interactions are less common than in other markets
A majority of Brazilian Twitter users indicate that they follow brands to stay up to date on new products, show their support and share their opinions. However, a relatively small volume of users engage with or mention brands in their content. Compared to other markets analyzed, Brazil’s brand mentions are among the lowest, encompassing just 3 percent of conversations. This figure is in stark contrast to the 15 percent share of brand mentions in India in particular.
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Perhaps the main reason for this discrepancy between Brazil and India — two of the world’s foremost developing economies — is the demographic makeup of the platforms’ audiences in each market.
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