Valuable insights for marketers if they listen

The results of a survey on how people use Twitter published yesterday adds confirmation in my mind that those who think Twitter is just another marketing channel don’t really understand people’s behaviours.

The survey Twitter and the Consumer-Marketer Dynamic, conducted over the past six months by US agency 360i, suggests that while consumers talk about brands on Twitter and exchange comment and opinion about brands in conversations with their friends, they don’t engage in any meaningful way with the marketers of those brands.

The report says that only one percent of consumer tweets that mention a brand are part of an active conversation with the tweeter of the brand, and concludes:

[…] Though many people perceive Twitter as a place for random status updates, re-tweets and marketing messages, this study shows how Twitter is largely a reflection of everyday conversation.

Twitter is dominated by the voice of the consumer and consists primarily of two-way conversations – the real value for marketers is in creating an ongoing dialogue with consumers that enables brands to become a more meaningful part of people’s everyday lives.

It’s easy to understand this if you use Twitter yourself. And by ‘use,’ I don’t mean ‘talk.’ What 360i’s report shows to me is that the most important thing a marketer can do on Twitter is listen.

Download the whitepaper from the 360i blog where you’ll also find a useful PowerPoint deck (also at Slideshare).