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SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

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entitled #RealTalk, finds that there is too little distinction and that brand humour, in particular, frequently feels outdated or inappropriate to the moment.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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