Amplifiers study: The Twitter users who are most likely to retweet and how to engage them

Platforms like Twitter have redefined the relationship between advertisers and their audiences. Today, anyone on Twitter can engage a brand in real-time conversations and even help spread a brand’s messages. In fact, with every reply, favorite or Retweet, Twitter users drive earned media for businesses that can make a big impact on ROI over time.

But (as Jerry Seinfeld says) who are these people? Which users are most likely to retweet a message on Twitter? And how can advertisers connect with them? We partnered with Compete to look at these questions and uncovered five key insights about U.S. Twitter users who are most likely to retweet – we call these people “amplifiers.”

The methodology

The findings are based on data from surveys fielded in the United States during 2012. Twitter and Compete worked together to build a questionnaire that asked respondents about their propensity to use Twitter and other services as well as the when, where, how and why of their usage patterns. Compete interviewed 655 Internet users in the U.S. for this study.

Five key findings and tips for advertisers

1. Amplifiers don’t fit neatly into one demographic.

Our research found that the type of U.S. Twitter user who is most likely to retweet isn’t too different demographically from the rest of people on Twitter. Amplifiers are evenly spread across age groups, income levels and geographic locations of users on Twitter. Gender doesn’t make a statistically significant difference either.

Tips for advertisers: When you create campaigns on Twitter, don’t limit your potential earned media. Amplifiers will exist across all your potential audiences. Target broadly across demographic categories.

2. Amplifiers are heavy Twitter users who are on the go.

Amplifiers are twice as likely to use Twitter several times a day. They are also more likely to use Twitter on a mobile phone (54%). This makes sense because our research found that amplifiers are twice as likely to use Twitter during their commutes or when they are out with friends.

Tips for advertisers: Maximize the engagement of your Twitter campaigns by targeting users on mobile devices and increasing the likelihood that you reach these amplifiers. Tweet content that is easy to consume and share on the go. Test day parting your Tweets to better understand when your followers are most inclined to retweet.

3. Amplifiers love to consume and create Tweets, especially visual content.

More actively engaged with Tweets than the average user, amplifiers are heavy content consumers and creators. Amplifiers are more likely to send Tweets (86%), send direct messages (122%) and favorite Tweets (102%). They are also highly visual: Amplifiers are more likely to view photos on Twitter (90%), tweet photos (107%) and tweet videos (89%).

Tips for advertisers: Make your Tweets resonate with visually-fluent amplifiers. Consistently include engaging images or videos in your Tweets. Don’t forget to respond to relevant Tweets from followers to show you are engaged with the real-time content they create.

4. Amplifiers want to hear from brands on Twitter.

The average Twitter user follows five brands. Twitter users who retweet show significantly more interest in brands. In fact, amplifiers are twice as likely than the average Twitter user to follow more than 20 brands on Twitter.

Tips for advertisers: Amplifiers are likely to be following your brand already. Keep them engaged by sharing the kind of content they want. Here are the top reasons people told Compete that they follow brands on Twitter:

5. Amplifiers love TV.

According to Bluefin Labs, 95% of the public social conversation around TV happens on Twitter. Twitter users love to tweet about what they are watching on television and this is particularly true for amplifiers. Our study found that 90% of amplifiers tweet about TV shows. They are also 36% more likely to be in front of the TV whenever they tweet.

Tips for advertisers: Closely integrate your TV campaigns with Twitter. Include hashtags in your TV ads. Share links to your ads on Twitter. With Twitter Ads, brands can also target users who are interested in specific TV shows and reach more users with more relevant messages.

For more tips on creating engaging Tweets, download this Twitter guide for businesses.

Posted by
Taylor Schreiner
Co-Head Ad Research