By adaptive - September 30th, 2014

Twitter is fast becoming the channel of choice for marketing activities that convert into sales. Measuring its effectiveness is now possible with the first benchmark report.

The level of engagement that corporations can expect to gain from each of the social media networks they maintain a presence on is somewhat of an art more than a science. That could be about to change with a new benchmark report that lifts the lid on Twitter engagement.

Twitter Engagement Rates per Tweet by Industry

Some of the key findings from the ExactTarget report include:

  • Consumers gravitate towards tweets that include photos. Brands and companies tweet photos only 8% of the time, although tweets containing a photo generate considerably higher reply and retweet volumes than those without photos.
  • Follower numbers are trending up. In 2013, companies tracked an average 43% increase in Twitter followers, with four industries tracking percentages higher than the average: technology and manufacturing (93%), retail and e-commerce (75%), CPG (55%) and financial services (55%).
  • Few brands tweet on Sunday—the day with the highest engagement. During the working week, companies tweet the least frequently on Mondays and tweet more as the week goes on. Interestingly, companies aren’t engaging followers much during weekends, although their followers continue to engage them.
  • The media and entertainment, financial services and education and non-profit industries receive the most retweets per tweet (23.6, 17.1 and 15.3, respectively), while the most replies go to media and entertainment, retail and e-commerce and education and non-profit (7.7, 3.0 and 2.8, respectively).
  • Prime times to reach consumers who follow financial services companies are from 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. (the period with the most replies and retweets to company tweets) and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (the second- highest period for retweets).

Given retail brands’ propensity for holiday marketing, it comes as no surprise that December sees the most tweets from retail brands, with the number of tweets steadily increasing from October through the end of the year. Consumers responded in December by nearly doubling the amount of replies.

ExactTaget concludes: “Brands should align their Twitter strategy with their own industry. If there’s anything these numbers prove, it’s that Twitter strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. The media and entertainment, financial services, and education and non-profit industries receive the most retweets per tweet (23.6, 17.1, and 15.3, respectively), while the most replies go to media and entertainment, retail and e-commerce, and education and non-profit (7.7, 3.0, and 2.8, respectively).

“The bottom line: different industries perform better in different areas of engagement, and few industries rank highly in every engagement format. Your customers may be more interested in retweeting your content to their followers than replying, or they may rely on your Twitter account for quick replies to help them solve problems. Regardless of your product or industry, it should be your goal to fill the exact niche your customers need.”

Engagement levels across Twitter are important, as the network is increasingly gaining in popularity as a place to buy goods and services. Speaking about Twitter developing its commercial services, the channel stated: “This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun,” said Twitter in its recent announcement.

“Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS; sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales. We’re not building this alone: we’ve partnered with Fancy (@fancy), Gumroad (@gumroad), Musictoday (@Musictoday) and Stripe (@stripe) as platforms for this initial test, with more partners to follow soon.

“In our test, an entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps. After tapping the “Buy” button, you will get additional product details and be prompted to enter your shipping and payment information. Once that’s entered and confirmed, your order information is sent to the merchant for delivery.”

There is now a strong propensity to buy directly from a tweet. The benchmark testing from ExactTarget and research from others illustrates that Twitter is fast becoming a powerful commercial space that all corporations can exploit with well-designed and timed campaigns.

[Image Source: Ken Lee.]

Next Reads

The Corporate Social Media Summit Europe

November 2014, London

Become a social business! #CSMEU is the largest and most senior meeting of social media and marketing execs, giving you unrivalled insight into how social can drive your business growth & competitive advantage

Brochure Programme
comments powered by Disqus