Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New Twitter statistics from Crowd Science highlight the growing importance of Twitter and the Real Time web

New - Twitter demographics and usage statistics here

Crowd Science have used their 'advanced platform for audience measurement and real-time survey research' to collate a new range of statistics about Twitter.

The Crowd Science findings
highlight the importance of Twitter as a medium finding that respondents using Twitter (vs respondents using only other social media) comprise greater proportions of:

- tech-entrenched, early adopters
- those claiming use of online social media is their favorite leisure activity
- those using multiple forms of online social media
- those over 30 years of age
- self-employed, entrepreneurs
- those using mobile phones to access their respective social media
- those preferring to contact friends via online social media vs. the telephone

These findings show that Twitter has an older age demographic than other platforms, is used more prominently by 'early adopters' and is used as a primary communication channel.

However, some of the most interesting statistics are about where Twitter is being used. Twitter users consume social media more frequently through mobile than non-Twitter users and the Crowd Science results show that:

- twice as many Twitter users as non-Twitter social media users (8% to 4%) had accessed social media from a theatre during a movie or live performance

- nearly three times as many Twitter users as other social media users have accessed social media from restaurants (31% vs 12%)

No more waiting to read restaurant reviews / film reviews from print columnists, Twitter users are tweeting in real time, directly from restaurants and theatres! This backs up the theory that 'Friday is the new weekend' and thanks to Twitter, films like Bruno can be sunk at the box office within 24 hours.

Twitter usage locationsSocial media access locations (click for larger image)

Customers now have the opportunity to share instant feedback on brands and products with the whole world, rather than just a close circle of friends and acquaintances. Twitter Search and Twitter trending topics make this feedback (good or bad) visible and things can become self-perpetuating shortly afterwards - especially once the Twitter Spammers latch on to them.

The headlines for the Crowd Science research will be about volume of Twitterers who are using social media while driving (11%) or the volume of Twitterers who are using social media in the toilet / washroom (17%), however the most useful aspect of this research are the revelations that 40% of Twitter users access social media from mobile phones and the percentages of people who tweet from venues like restaurants and theatres.

The Twitter audience are also more likely than other social media users to have built a website (48%) or be running a blog (37%). As the usage grows (and over 50% of users have been with Twitter for less than 6 months) then it becomes more and more important for organisations to not just monitor what people are saying on Twitter, but to engage with them too - these people are the online social influencers who can help or hinder a brand depending on their personal experience.

A good entry point are the case studies that Twitter have published called 'Twitter 101 for Business'.

Follow me on Twitter @nickburcher

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