Twitter Usage Across the
U.S. & U.K.
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Geography, access to technology, the popularity of certain social networks and cultural norms all influence howpeople across the globe engage in social media. This whitepaper explores the role of culture when it comes tohow, where and with what purpose people in the United Kingdom and the United States engage on Twitter. Thesefindings reveal important implications for marketers engaging consumers on both sides of the pond in socialmedia.For this study we analyzed a randomized sample of 400 Twitter posts, representative of the population of publicTwitter conversations in the U.K. and U.S. To qualify our findings, we also conducted in-depth online interviewswith Twitter users from both countries to give us perspective into the rationale behind their expressed behaviors.
Summary of Key Findings1
Twitter users in the U.S. and the U.K. prefer to engage in the platform at different points of the day.
US users are most active in the evening, whereas UK users intermittently update throughout the day as newtopics of conversation arise. Marketers will want to understand the preferred time of activity for a regionalaudience, and align their content strategy accordingly to maximize engagement.
Motivation for sharing varies greatly across cultures: UK users seek connection and conversation,while US users are driven by validation and self-expression.
Understanding the cultural psyche of anaudience can help marketers tailor content and messaging to better incentivize conversation and sharing. Byplaying into the motivations of an audience, brands can deliver a more relevant value exchange.
UK users are generally more positive than their US counterparts, and tend to avoid revealing overtly“raw emotion,” such as anger, on Twitter.
Marketers should keep this in mind when developing a socialtone of voice for their brands across different regions. Authenticity is a big factor in how brands approachconsumers in the U.S., so quips about common frustrations can help make brands more relatable. Humanizingthe brand is equally as important in the U.K., but it should be done in a way that generates a positiveresponse, as that audience is less prone to air blatant grievances in social media.
People in the U.S. tend to be more opinionated when interacting with brands on Twitter.
Whenevaluating consumer sentiment online, we recommend that marketers hold the U.K. and U.S. to differentstandards. This means that a slew of negative commentary coming from a US audience online might not pointto a bigger issue offline, just as a lack of demonstrated brand love from UK users might not point to a lack of emotional connection to that brand within the general population.