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Twitter Brand

Perception Study
A survey of 208 Twitter Users on how they feel about brands on
Twitter

By Peter Sorgenfrei and Warren


Sukernek

6/3/2009
Do I Want to Follow Your Brand?
A Survey of Brand Perception on Twitter

In May, Peter Sorgenfrei and Warren Sukernek conducted a survey on Twitter regarding
users’ perception of brands on Twitter. This was a follow-up to the original Twitter Brand
perception survey performed in November. This time we surveyed 208 people with 6
questions regarding interacting with brands. The survey and results are below. A couple
of key insights:
1) Not surprisingly, most users (97%) agree that brands should engage their
customers on Twitter. This is 8 percentage points higher than the fall survey.
Clearly Twitter users want to engage with their brands. We are accustomed to
communicating with companies on Twitter.

2) The majority also have a better impression of brands that use Twitter for
customer service (88%). This is 7 percentage points higher than the original
survey.

3) Proper usage of Twitter however, is paramount as 90% of users would frown


upon poor or inappropriate brand use of Twitter. This is equivalent to the results
found in the original survey.

4) The power of a relationship is extremely strong on Twitter. 80% of respondents


would recommend a company based on their presence on Twitter, a huge 20
percentage point increase from the prior survey and 84% of Twitter users will
reward those brands they have key relationships by being more willing to
purchase from them. This was a 5 percentage point increase from the original
survey.

5) Influencers: More than 80% of respondents have 100+ followers and almost 35%
of respondents have posted more than 1000 Tweets since they signed up for the
service.

Twitter Survey by @warrenss, Twittermaven blog and @researchguy, Sorgenfrei


– attribution appreciated

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Q1: “I feel brands should engage with their customers on Twitter”

97% of respondents answered favorably (agree or strongly agree) with


approximately 53% answering strongly agree. Just 3% of the audience
disagreed with the statement. Thus, the respondents are overwhelmingly in
favor of brands joining Twitter and having conversations with customers. This
should not be surprising as the majority of the respondents are strong fans of the
service. These results are a significant improvement over the fall survey. Twitter
users are accustomed to communicating with companies on Twitter.

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Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
Strongly Agree 52.9% 40.5% 12.4%
Agree 43.8% 49.2% (5.4%)
Disagree 1.9% 8% (6.1%)
Strongly Disagree 1.4% 2.3% (0.9%)
Q2: “I have a much better impression of companies that use Twitter for
customer service”

88% of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. This
is 7% higher than the fall survey. Less than 1% strongly disagreed. The impact
of user’s experience with brands on Twitter to resolve customer service problems
can be shown here. Users have either personally experienced or read the stories
about how companies resolve customer issues on Twitter. Not only do they

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prefer to resolve customer service issues on Twitter, but they think highly of
companies that use the service for this purpose.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
Strongly Agree 45.2% 36.3% 8.9%
Agree 42.8% 44.6% (1.8%)
Disagree 11.5% 17.1% (5.6%)
Strongly Disagree 0.5% 2.1% (1.6%)
Q3: “I am interested in receiving special offers and coupons from
companies on Twitter”

71% of users agreed/strongly agreed with the statement, but the number of
agree/ strongly agree actually declined 10 percentage points from the fall survey.
However, some interesting dynamics are occurring here as the number of
strongly agree went up significantly, zooming 31 percentage points to 46% from
the prior study. Correspondingly, the number of people who agree went down by
22 percentage points to 25%. It appears that users have gotten used to offers on
Twitter and a strong number of people seem to even like them. Over 8% of
respondents strongly disagreed which was the highest percentage in the entire
survey. However, the strongly/ disagree group decreased by 16 percentage

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points. Thus, one can conclude that Twitter users have become accustomed to
special offers and many people want to receive them.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
Strongly Agree 46.2% 15.0% 31.2%
Agree 24.5% 40.0% (15.5%)
Disagree 21.6% 29.2% (7.6%)
Strongly Disagree 7.7% 15.8% (8.1%)

Q4: “If a company uses Twitter poorly or inappropriately, it would affect my


overall perception of their brand”

90% of the respondents were in agreement (strongly agree or agree) with this
statement. This is comparable to last fall’s result of 88%. However, there appears
to be a mix change as the number that strongly agree declined by 4 percentage

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points and those who agree increased by 6 percentage points. Once again,
strongly disagree had the lowest score in the entire survey for this question as
well, 0.5%. The Twitter community wants to engage in conversation with their
brands, but it will not tolerate poor practices from those companies. Although
poor or inappropriate use was not defined in the survey, that is assumed to
include broadcasting messages, lack of responses, latency in response, follower
spam.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
Strongly Agree 46.2% 50.4% (4.2)%
Agree 44.2% 37.9% 6.3%
Disagree 9.1% 11.3% (2.2%)
Strongly Disagree 0.5% 0.4% 0.1%
Q5: “I would recommend a company’s product or service based on their
presence/usage of Twitter”

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80% of respondents were in favor (strongly agree or agree) with this statement.
This is an increase of 20 percentage points from the prior survey. 49% strongly
agreed, a huge jump from the fall of 33%! The strength of the Twitter relationship
is such that it can positively impact brand perception and recommendations of
that brand. That is certainly reflected in the survey results. Company Twitter
usage and relationships has an impactful word of mouth effect. As seen
elsewhere, offline word of mouth activities are affected by online
recommendations and experiences.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
Strongly Agree 49.5% 16.7% 32.8%
Agree 30.8% 43.3% (12.5%)
Disagree 13.9% 34.6% (20.7%)
Strongly Disagree 5.8% 5.4% 0.4%
Q6: I would be more willing to purchase a product/service from a company
that has a relationship with me on Twitter”

Over 83% of respondents were in favor (strongly agree or agree) with this
statement. However, the strength of respondents’ conviction is noted as 54%
strongly agree. This is an increase of 32 percentage points. As described in Q5,

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the power of the relationship on Twitter is very strong. In Q6, the relationship
appears to have an even stronger impact than Q5. The audience is more willing
to purchase a product than recommend it. Respondents are willing to reward
company’s who engage with them on Twitter by purchasing their product or
service.

Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change


Strongly Agree 54.3% 22.5% 31.8%
Agree 29.3% 56.3% (27.0%)
Disagree 13.9% 18.8% (4.9%)
Strongly Disagree 2.4% 2.5% (0.1%)

Demographic Questions

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Q7: How many followers do you have on Twitter?

This question was fairly distributed with the largest (100-499) at 34% and the
smallest (less than 50) at 9.1%. However, there was significant growth (15.4
percentage points in the segment with over 1000 followers to 27.9%. These
results are similar to the fall survey.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
<50 9.1% 12.1% (3.0)%
50-99 9.6% 14.2% (4.6%)
100-499 33.7% 42.1% (4.4%)
500-999 19.7% 19.2% 0.5%
>1000 27.9% 12.5% 15.4%
Q8: How many tweets have you posted since signing up for Twitter?

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The most popular answer was between 100-499 with 29%. This is similar to the
fall results of 27%. However, the number of responses with 1000-2999 declined
by 9 percentage points to 18%. This question is probably most affected by the
growth of Twitter over the last six months.

Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change


<100 14.9% 7.9% 7.0%
100 - 499 29.3% 27.1% 2.2%
500-999 20.7% 17.9% 2.8%
1000-2999 18.3% 27.1% (8.8%)
3000 or more 16.8% 20.0% (3.2%)

Q9: What is your age range?

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Consistent with other recent surveys, 66% of the audience is between the ages
of 25 and 44. However, it is interesting that the percent of respondents over 55
declined by 15 percentage points. And none of the respondents were over 65
years old.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
<18 0.0% 0.0% 0%
19-24 7.2% 6.1% 1.1%
25-34 30.3% 25.6% 4.7%
35-44 35.6% 30.1% 5.5%
45-54 23.1% 19.5% 3.6%
55-64 3.8% 15.4% (11.6%)
65+ 0.0 3.3% (3.3%)

Q10: What is your gender?

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The number of women completing the survey has increased to 45%. In fact, the
survey audience seems very similar to that reported in recent Twitter
demographic surveys.
Answer Spring 2009 Fall 2008 Change
Male 54.8% 60.4% (5.6)%
Female 45.2% 39.6% 5.6%

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