Social Media Lab Twitter Marketing Survey
The results of the “Social Media Lab 2020 Twitter Marketing Survey” are in, and here are some of the highlights:
- 19% don’t tweet links
- 44% tweet at least 1 video per month
- 79% spend more than 1 hour per day on Twitter
Each quarter, the Social Media Lab will publish results from social media network-specific surveys conducted during the previous quarter.
Our goal is to find out how each platform is being used, and year over year notate any trends seen.
The Social Media Lab began surveying Twitter users in November 2020 to determine if any trends in Twitter marketing could be discovered.
Is Marketing on Twitter Important in 2021?
I asked some of my social media marketing friends for their input on this.
Madalyn Sklar: “In 2021, I feel Twitter marketing is more important than ever due to increased usage and new features. Twitter reported a 27% rise in daily active users from a year ago. Plus the newest features that aid in marketing are Fleets and Spaces, which are quite popular, as well as upcoming features like communities, super followers, and business profiles.”
Eddie Garrison : “Twitter marketing is important for multiple reasons, really. Affiliate Links, Evergreen Content, YouTube Views, Email List, just to name a few”.
Laura Pence Atencio : “Twitter is the easiest place to meet new people without making it weird. It’s great for starting and developing relationships with people. It’s not effective as a broadcast platform.”
Kevin Kolbe: “Twitter marketing is a no for marketing, for me, but yes for just connecting with others and brands.”
Conducting the Twitter Marketing Survey
The 21-question survey was conducted using SurveyMonkey and was open to collect responses throughout November and December 2020.
To get a wide array of responses, we:
- Posted to our Agorapulse and Social Media Lab social media accounts, including Facebook groups
- Emailed Social Media Lab email subscribers
- Mentioned the survey during the Social Media Lab LIVE show weekly
- Participants in a contest run by Agorapulse in the final weeks of December 2020 could get an additional entry by visiting the survey.
The survey was closed for future responses on December 31, 2020, and resulted in 766 respondents.
SurveyMonkey’s insights allow us to see that the survey had a 100% completion rate with an average completion time of just over 2 minutes:
Twitter Marketing Survey 2020 Results
Question 1: How Many Twitter Followers Do You Have?
25% of respondents had over 1,000 Twitter followers, while only 1% had over 100,000 followers.
This data is important to consider when analyzing the remaining questions because it lets us know these aren’t massive Twitter accounts taking the survey. These are Twitter users with relatively low follower counts.
Question 2: How Many Twitter Accounts Do You Follow?
Mirroring the amount of Twitter followers respondents had in question 1, most (70%) followed less than 1,000 Twitter accounts.
Question 3: Which of the Following Best Describes the Principal Industry of Your Organization?
We perhaps gave too many options to choose from on this question!
We got quite a mix of industries represented by those that filled out the survey.
The big standouts in this graph are 21% work in advertising/marketing while 17% were currently not employed, perhaps due to Covid-19 layoffs.
Question 4: How Important is Twitter for Your (or Your Client’s) Marketing?
The results were spread around a bit on this question with 17% saying Twitter marketing was not at all important.
With 51% saying Twitter marketing was greater than “Somewhat important” that should be reassuring to businesses that marketing on Twitter still has its place, it’s just not just trolls and fake news.
Question 5: How Many Twitter Accounts Do You Manage?
51% of survey respondents only managed 1 Twitter account.
A total of 7% said they don’t manage any Twitter accounts, which could mean they took the question to mean they don’t manage accounts for others, no way for us to know.
A total of 42% manage more than 2 Twitter accounts, while only 21% stated they worked in advertising or marketing.
Question 6: What is Your Primary Reason for Using Twitter?
Only 33% that took the survey use Twitter for business. The rest is for news or pleasure.
Of those surveyed, 67% are not on Twitter for business. They are using Twitter to have fun and get news. Leveraging that is key to success as a business on Twitter.
Question 7: How Many Hours Per Day Do You Spend on Twitter?
21% said they spend 0 hours per day on Twitter, which may explain some of the previous answers about the importance of Twitter in marketing, and how many accounts were followed.
But, as a marketer, figure out ways to leverage the fact most Twitter users are spending 1-3 hours per day on the platform. How are you targeting them with your content?
Question 8: Do You Participate in Twitter Chats?
61% of those surveyed do not participate in Twitter chats.
A Twitter chat is a live series of tweets, typically done by an account asking questions of those following a particular hashtag. Everyone in the “chat” is live during the scheduled time using the designated hashtag for all replies, mentions, and retweets. It’s basically like Clubhouse but without audio!
You might assume 39% is low for being involved with Twitter chats, it’s actually much higher than I would have anticipated, especially based on the time spent reported in a previous question.
Twitter chats can be a great way for brands to get a hashtag trending and get your account exposed to lots of new potential followers.
Question 9: How Many Times Per Day Do You Tweet?
Most surveyed are tweeting less than 5 times per day, 76% of respondents. 23% said they don’t tweet at all, which lines up with the 21% that said they spent 0 hours per day on Twitter.
These results correlate with 67% only using Twitter for pleasure or news.
This signals more opportunities for you to tweet quality content.
Question 10: Do You Retweet Posts?
Retweets are simple to post and don’t require original content, which is why 83% of survey participants retweet. We don’t know if respondents included retweets in their response to question 9 regarding the number of tweets they post daily.
Businesses should encourage their followers to retweet their posts. Focus on providing high-value content that followers want to share .
Question 11: How Many Hashtags Do You Use in Your Tweets?
Most users surveyed use less than 5 hashtags on their tweets.
Our tests have shown that 4 hashtags were best on Twitter.
Question 12: Do You Cross-Post From Instagram to Twitter?
Cross-posting from Instagram to Twitter is an option on Instagram that allow users to post the same update to other platforms, such as Twitter.
Less than 37% surveyed are using this feature.
Based on our studies creating unique content for every platform is highly recommended.
Question 13: Do You Cross-Post From Facebook to Twitter?
Nearly equal results on this question as we found in cross-posting from Instagram to Twitter. 64% surveyed aren’t cross-posting from Facebook to Twitter.
Question 14: Do You Use a 3rd Party Tool to Schedule Your Tweets?
Only 28% surveyed are using a 3rd party tool to schedule their tweets.
The Social Media Lab has concluded via previous studies that posting with a 3rd party tool does NOT impact the performance of your tweets. Therefore, we encourage that activity for businesses.
Question 15: How Many Videos Do You Upload to Twitter Monthly?
While 56% of those surveyed don’t post any videos to Twitter, 44% do! With 6% posting between 6-10 videos per month.
This should be an encouragement to all marketers to post more videos on Twitter. This could be product-related videos, personal messages to your audience, or even live videos.
Question 16: How Many Pictures Do You Tweet Monthly?
Based on our data 28% surveyed don’t tweet pictures at all, with 67% tweeting less than 5 pics per month.
Question 17: Do You Live Stream on Twitter?
Only 10% say they have live-streamed on Twitter.
Periscope was the only way to live-stream to Twitter when the survey was taken, and has now been removed as an option on Twitter.
Question 18: Do You Ever Tweet a Text-Only Tweet?
A vast majority of those surveyed, 71%, use text-only tweets regularly!
The fact so many use text-only tweets conveys that Twitter is more about a conversation than it is posting slick marketing-type links. As a business, get involved with conversations and tweets just text to talk with those within your industry. Not every tweet should have a link included!
Question 19: How Often Do you Tweet Links Each Month?
At a higher rate than text-only tweets, the respondents of the survey tweet at least 1 link per month, 81% of them to be exact!
With so many tweeting links this tells me that tweeting links is an acceptable means of communication. Don’t be afraid to post links to your content and offer value to your followers.
Question 20: Do You Run Twitter Ads?
Surprisingly only 9% of those surveyed run Twitter ads.
This could mean that either their businesses don’t see value in Twitter ads, or it is due to so many saying they only use Twitter for pleasure as mentioned earlier.
Question 21: If You Run Twitter Ads What Is Your Monthly Budget?
89% of those surveyed have no Twitter ads budget because again 91% aren’t running Twitter ads. 9% said their Twitter ads budget was $1-$1000, 2% spend between $1001-$5000, and only 1% spend over $5000 monthly on Twitter Ads.
As a marketer, this should give you motivation to spend some money on Twitter ads, as not many in your industry likely are. With fewer people running ads on Twitter you’re more likely to get seen if you run Twitter ads.
Twitter Marketing Survey Results Recap
Those reading these survey results are likely in social media marketing, in one form or fashion.
Here are a few things you can apply from these results to your Twitter marketing:
- Start a Twitter Chat, 39% of those surveyed participate in Twitter chats. If you have 1000 followers wouldn’t it be great to interact with 400 of them in a focused chat?
- Post videos to Twitter. Twitter users are becoming more accustomed to seeing videos on their feed, stand out with a short, informative video once per week.
- Be more entertaining, 49% are using Twitter for pleasure. Tweet funny gifs or videos to keep followers entertained and engaged.
- Consider live streaming to Twitter. With so few going live on Twitter you’ll stand out in the crowd. We recommend Restream to live stream easily to Twitter.
The Social Media Lab learned a few things conducting this industry study:
- Ask fewer questions, 21 was too many
- Give fewer options on questions
- Gamify from the beginning, once we began to give incentives to complete the survey we got more responses
- The Christmas season is hard to get people to take a survey!
Everything in the Social Media Lab is a test and we will learn from our mistakes and apply them on future surveys.