A comprehensive survey (1,753 respondents) released today by Edison Research (a division of Arbitron), paints a fascinating picture of Twitter and its role in America’s social media ecosystem, reports Jason Baer on SocialMediaToday.com.
The full 49-page study is full of interesting graphs and data morsels, but these are the 7 findings that Jason didn’t anticipate:
1. Twitter is Ubiquitous
Like Terrell Owens, Carrie Underwood, and Coke Zero, Twitter is almost universally on the radar of Americans. 87% of respondents had heard of Twitter, compared to 88% who had heard of Facebook. (Note that the survey population was 12 and up, including a representative portion of seniors). Thus, we can safely assume that with the exception of Amish, prisoners, and sea creatures, the entirety of the country knows about Twitter.
2. Twitter Sucks at Converting Awareness to Usage
Known by 87%, just 7% of Americans use Twitter. Thus, fewer than one in 13 Americans who know about Twitter, actually use Twitter. Compare that ratio to Facebook, where 88% have heard of it, and 41% have a profile (a conversion rate approaching 50%).
3. Twitter is the Important, Vocal Minority
While only 7% of Americans are using it, the Twitter population is still 17 million people, which is roughly equivalent to the combined populations of Connecticut, Oregon, Kentucky, Kansas, and Oklahoma. And while substantially smaller than the Facebook brigade, the Twitter crew is tuned in to brands like nowhere else on the social WEb.
4. Brand Interaction is a Major Part of Life on Twitter
In addition to following brands, Twitter users research and engage with companies. 42% learn about products and services via Twitter. 41% provide opinions about products/services. 19% seek customer support.
“Twitter users talking about marketing and brands far exceeds the usage on the other social networks,” said Tom Webster, the VP of Strategy & Marketing at Edison (and the study author), when I interviewed him for this post.
I maintain that as Facebook continues to tie together the real-time Web with the open graph, Twitter usage will inexorably shift from person to person connectivity, to customer to company connectivity. I believe Twitter will ultimately be the way that we interact with brands, and will power the social CRM movement. Tom agrees, and included that concept in the Executive Summary.
Read all 7 of Jason's surprising statistics at SocialMediaToday.com.