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The Most Influential Consumers Online are on Twitter

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Twitter is a human seismograph and it represents a transformative channel where everyday people possess the ability to affect actions. The cloud of collective consciousness that houses our thoughts, experiences, and conversations is also a data trove for experts to measure and mine serendipitous and organized behavior and events.

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									The Most Influential Consumers Online are on
Twitter
By Brian Solis, blogger at BrianSolis.com and principal of FutureWorks, Author of the new book
Engage!, Co-Author, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and Now Is Gone




Twitter is a human seismograph and it represents a transformative channel where everyday people possess the ability
to affect actions. The cloud of collective consciousness that houses our thoughts, experiences, and conversations is also a
data trove for experts to measure and mine serendipitous and organized behavior and events.

Twitter is less of a social network in its design and operation and more of a series of interconnected social nicheworks. It
brings together disparately connected personalities linked through friendship, admiration, education, and context. Here
individuals align around people they know, would like to know, and bound by the topics, themes, and connections that
attract them. This highly contextualized network, or as Twitter refers to it, an Interest Graph, offers individuals an organized,
indexable, and searchable stream where they express sentiment, share observations and information, and also directly and
indirectly communicate with one another.

For marketers, Twitter represents so much more than a real-time focus group. While the activity of its users is available for
interpretation and analysis, the information contained in certain tweets published by notable individuals possess the capacity
to influence agendas and resulting activities. And even in aggregate, everyday users define the direction of the stream and
ultimately impact the subjects of their conversations.

Any organization impacted by outside activity must dedicate focus and resources to monitoring and analyzing activity, the
extent to which it shapes perception today, and how to share and steer activity to benefit stakeholders online and in the real
world.

A recent study by ExactTarget and CoTweet surveyed 1,500 consumers to identify top motivations for following brands on
Twitter. As a result, we can glean insight into the expectations of elusive and prized consumers when interacting with brands
online.

The ExactTarget and CoTweet study reveals an important part of the social ecosystem that demonstrates why businesses
need to consider not just a 360 approach, but a socialized approach. Of the consumers surveyed, 72% publish blog posts at
least monthly, 70% comment on blogs, and 61% write at least one product review monthly. The social consumer is vocal
and they’re connected. Considering now that audiences are shifting from content consumers to curators and creators, our
market is now defined by audiences with audiences with audiences. Individuals maintain active and expanding social graphs
and as they grow, the network effect only escalates.




(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis
In April 2010, Performics and ROI Research found that 33% of Twitter users share opinions about companies or products at
least once per week. More so, 32% make recommendations while 30% seek guidance and direction.
Wait. What?

- 33% talk brands 1x per week
- 32% make recommendations
- 30% seek advice

Among other interesting stats, 20% of consumers follow a brand in order to interact with the company, which is much greater
than those who subscribe to email newsletters or those who “like” brands on Facebook in order to remain connected. In fact,
nine out of the ten stated that the most common reasons to follow a brand on Twitter involved the ability to obtain direct
information from a company.

In other studies, upwards of 80% of Twitter users stated that for those deserving brands, following equated to referrals. Of
those who followed brands, 51% did so because they were an existing customer and 44%expected discounts or promotions.
One of the more interesting data points to emerge was that men were more than twice as likely than women to follow brands
on Twitter, 29% compared to 13%. This stat requires deeper analysis as it, on the surface, rivals two primary research pillars
in my current work, 1) More women than men account for the overall Twitter population and 2) Women, in aggregate, are
more influential than men on Twitter.

If you were to take one thing away from this research, it’s this…Twitter users are the most influential social
consumers online today. This revelation is constant across many published research reports. Not only are they influential,
they put their money where their Tweet is.
While money doesn’t grow on trees, it does however, grow on Tweets.




(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis
Brian Solis is globally recognized as one of most prominent thought leaders and
published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has
influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing,
communications, and publishing. He is principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning New
Media agency in Silicon Valley, and has led interactive and social programs for Fortune
500 companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups. BrianSolis.com is ranked
among the top of world's leading business and marketing online resources.

Solis is the author of Engage! The complete guide for businesses to build, cultivate and
measure success in the new Web.




In 2009, Brian Solis, along with Deirdre Breakenridge, released, Putting the Public back
in Public Relations.




Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google Buzz, Facebook
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(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis
is

								
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