Research

Twitter is where people come to discover what's happening

By Gordon Macmillan

One of the unique things about the audience on Twitter is that they come to the platform in a Discovery Mindset. That means they are on Twitter looking for what’s new, for great content and stories.

A Discovery Mindset means that people on Twitter are more attentive, more responsive and more trusting of the content they see. According to research* conducted for Twitter, the overwhelming number of people on the platform, 83%, say they are very open minded. That’s great news for brands, as it makes for the perfect environment to connect with consumers as they are willing to engage with content that they didn’t necessarily set out to find.

Discovery is in Twitter’s DNA

Discovery on Twitter is built into everything people do. It begins with ‘What’s happening?’, which is the question posed as people prepare to Tweet. And it follows through to Trends, Retweets, following new people, and how people curate their own timelines.

Each of these actions is a way of connecting people to the wider world around them like no other service.  

The three types of discovery

Twitter users are a curious group. They want to know ‘what’s happening’ both in the world and in their world, and because of that, they are on a constant journey of discovery. Specifically, this exploration takes place in three distinct ways that together prompt, on average, a 30% increase in memory encoding over regular  online browsing. That’s important because it correlates strongly with purchase behaviour.

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1. Mission Discovery

Mission discovery is when people open Twitter for a particular reason, like finding out who won the first challenge on #GBBO or a sports match result. They are searching, looking at Trends and Moments.

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2. Inspiration Discovery

Inspiration discovery focuses on the things that people are passionate about. It is when people are open-minded but with a particular topic in mind. Here they are browsing their timeline, exploring links, articles, and Retweets to find out more about the things they are interested in.

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3. Serendipitous Discovery

Serendipitous Discovery often takes place when the best Tweets are surfaced by Retweets in people’s timeline. People are in a relaxed state, unsure what they are looking for, but want to discover new things. They might be browsing their timeline more slowly, dipping in and out of various Trends and Moments.

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How a Discovery Mindset works for brands

The fact that Twitter users are in a Discovery Mindset means they are less likely to filter information out. That’s why viewing an ad on Twitter is over three times more effective at improving brand associations than viewing on other social media platforms.

This is highlighted in how our study found 60% perceived branded content on Twitter as being trustworthy. That’s significantly higher than branded content on other platforms. The reason for this is that because people curate their own timelines they are more open to trusting the content they see.

And finally, people interviewed for our study told us they see Twitter as a natural home for brands. They don’t find content from brands intrusive, and it’s why more than a third say they value the ability to have a two-way conversation with brands on Twitter. That means that connecting with brands is not alien to them.

*Source : Firefish & The Numbers Lab, 2016. n=600 Twitter users

 

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@gordonmacmillan

Gordon Macmillan

‎@gordonmacmillan‎

Head of Editorial, Twitter EMEA

Only on Twitter
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