Twitter survey finds most brands are not differentiating themselves

By our News Team | 2022

Poor use of humour is a particular failing, as too many brands follow the herd and speak with a similar voice.

As a marketer, you likely feel that your brand is differentiating itself from competitors on Twitter. But it’s likely that you’re wrong.

A recent report released by the social media platform, entitled #RealTalk, finds that there is too little distinction and that brand humour, in particular, frequently feels outdated or inappropriate to the moment.

“Distinction is everything a brand needs to succeed on Twitter,” the study’s researchers advise. “Revisit what seems right for your brand, not just what topics are trending or what other people are jumping on.” 

#RealTalk is said to be a first-of-its-kind perspective analysing 10 years of tweets from and about brands and new research — in partnership with researchers at Sparker and data scientists from Pulsar Consulting — that spans eight countries and surveys the evolving opinions people on Twitter have about brand behaviour.

Social Media Strategy

Photo by Edar on Pixabay

Blind test of tweets showed surprising results

In a blind test of multiple tweets from prominent brands from around the world across similar industries, Twitter removed any identifiable branding such as names, logos, keywords and hashtags. It then asked people to guess which brand wrote the tweet. Only one in three could guess the correct brand from a list of five options.

Among findings flowing from this is that conformist social media behaviour upstages brand distinctiveness. Brands have converged around the same social media archetypes, and are even using the same number of unique keywords and characters.

It is therefore time for brands to become more distinctive and non-conformist, while also reviewing the way they use humour – and whether they use it at all.

Commenting on social and cultural issues is one possible new approach, with 56% of survey respondents saying brands could do so and 37% thinking they definitely should. However, when brands talk about sensitive topics, they need to do so meaningfully and with an authentic voice.

Twitter summed it up the advice to brands with a Shakespeare quote: “To thine own self be true.” 

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.