May 12, 2022
Although not the most popular social media platform among luxury marketers, the functionality and practicality of Twitter should not be ignored.
According to Twitter’s #RealTalk 2022 report, the platform’s online conversations reveal much about consumers’ attitudes towards brand behavior. These conversations extend beyond major cultural moments and can impact brand perception and consumer purchasing behavior.
The report is based on an analysis of more than 5,000 unprompted tweets about brands and tweets from 20 global brands from 2018 to 2021, as well as a Twitter shopper behavior survey from September 2021 and additional fieldwork. Research partners included Pulsar and Sparkler.
Seven in 10 Twitter users believe interacting with brands adds to their experience, so it is little surprise “Brand Twitter” is seeing growth. In the U.S. alone, conversations and engagements with brands were up double digits from 2019 to 2020.
Replies saw the largest jump at 44 percent, followed by quote tweets at 35 percent growth. Tweets and retweets saw more modest growth at 23 and 20 percent, respectively.
Eighty percent of users surveyed agree that they do not mind brands selling to them as long as the approach is “fun, useful, entertaining, informative or moves [them] in some way.” Users are also quick, however, to criticize brands that are exploiting situations in an insincere manner.
In times of crisis, 61 percent of respondents would rather brands meaningfully acknowledge the moment in their advertising and communications. Nearly half notice when brands stay mum on economic, social, political or cultural issues – whether they directly impact them or not.
While keeping a pulse on cultural events is vital, brands should avoid generalizing distinct communities. This also includes engaging with specific communities all year long, and not just during designated holidays or months.
Brands, including those in the luxury space, also need to work to differentiate themselves on Twitter. Relying on the same unique keywords, tweet-length and brand archetypes have made brand tweets interchangeable for many users.
Outside of brand interactions, Twitter users are also turning to their followers for advice and insights on potential purchases. More than three-quarters of users surveyed agreed that conversations on Twitter resulted in product purchasing.
An analysis of tweets with the keyword phrase “want to buy” revealed that fashion and retail are among the top five topics users are seeking recommendations about.
In Twitter conversations centered around retail, mentions of inflation and prices are also up significantly year-over-year. Additionally, while many social media conversations about shopping are dominated by women, Twitter has seen the participation in retail conversations by men increase 10 percent from 2020 to 2021.
Another category seeing growth on Twitter is travel.
Travel-related tweets that include “recommending” keywords jumped 28 percent from 2020 to 2021, reflecting the sector’s recovery from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Replies to these tweets are also up 23 percent year-over-year.
More than 40 percent of travel conversations on Twitter in 2021 revolved around destinations, while 26 percent were focused on travel type, such as air or cruise, and 20 percent touched on experience, such as backpacking. Eleven percent of conversations were dedicated to accommodations.
Data also reveals that conversations about European travel and urban exploration saw triple-digit growth among U.S. Twitter users from summer 2020 to summer 2021.