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Aussie Twitter users motivated by “insider information”, not freebies: Report

Friday, 17 May 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Nearly half of Australia’s Twitter users follow a business on the social network in order to keep up to date with its products, rather than to receive discounts, according to a new report.


ExactTarget, a US-based email marketing and interactive marketing provider, recently surveyed online consumers in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.


A total of 8,276 consumers were surveyed, including 1,400 consumers in Australia.


For Australian consumers, the top reasons for following a brand or organisation on Twitter was “to keep up to date with a company’s products” (45%), and “to receive alerts related to developments within the organisation” (36%).


This was followed by “to receive free stuff or giveaways” (35%) and “for a quick and easy way to keep my finger on the pulse of the brand/company” (33%).


The Australian survey results are in contrast to results from other countries. In Brazil, for example, the top reason for following a brand or organisation on Twitter was to receive discounts (49%).


In the United Kingdom, the top reason was “for more information related to my personal interests, hobbies, etc.”, while receiving alerts related to company developments was the top reason in Germany.


Overall, discounts and freebies are less common motivators for consumers on Twitter than for more popular products such as Facebook and email, the report said.


“However, this small audience is one that marketers can’t afford to ignore. Why? Twitter users are influencers,” it said.


“They’re often people who see it as their mission to connect with people – and brands – who share interesting, informative and entertaining content online.


“The most active Twitter users tend to be online content creators who blog, rate products, leave comments on websites, and make recommendations to family and friends.”


Lee Hawksley, managing director of ExactTarget, said while only 6% of Australian online consumers follow brands on Twitter, Australian businesses would be wise to accommodate them.


“When using Twitter, remember to consider your audience. Consumers want to be heard – especially the influential users on Twitter who follow your brand,” Hawksley said in a statement.


“Provide them with an intimate view of your brand, so they can share their ‘insider information’ with the rest of the world.”


“Also keep in mind that many online consumers are monitoring Twitter, even if they are not actively participating.”


Australians are also among the top consumers for engaging with brands on Facebook, according to the report, although their reasons for engaging are very different to the motivating factors of Australian Twitter users.


More than half (52%) of the Australian consumers surveyed said the top reason for engaging with brands on Facebook was “to receive free stuff or giveaways”.


This was followed by “to receive discounts and money-off promotions” (46%), “to keep up to date with a company’s products, service or offering” (33%) and “to gain access to exclusive content” (30%).


“Facebook poses unique opportunities – and challenges – for marketers. It’s an inherently social channel where consumers are open to interacting with brands,” the report said.


“But because consumers typically think of Facebook as their ‘personal’ space, marketers have to tread lightly with hard-sell messages.”