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A new report has revealed that Australian Twitter users follow brands in order to keep up to date with new products, rather than score freebies or discounts. 

ExactTarget’s 2013 Executive Summary collates the results from surveying 8,276 consumers across Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and the UK, and looks at the motivations behind why and how users interact with brands online. 


Reasons why consumers choose to following brands and businesses on Twitter differs per country, but findings show that Australian users are far more likely to have a ‘genuine interest’ in the brands they follow.

The number one reason why Australian consumers follow a brand or business on Twitter is to keep up to date with a company’s products (45%), followed by an interest in receiving alerts related to development within the organisation (36%).

Just over 3 in 10 Australian consumers were interested in receiving free stuff or giveaways, and a similar amount were interested in keeping their finger on the pulse of the company. 

In contrast, the top reason in the UK for following a brand on Twitter was ‘for more information related to my personal interests, hobbies, etc’. 

In Germany, consumers wanted alerts relating to company development, French followers wanted to keep up to date with a company’s products and services, yet in Brazil, almost 50% of users follow brands to receive discounts. 

Twitter users are influencers

In every country surveyed Twitter had a much smaller audience than Facebook, and because of this, some companies and brands tend to neglect the Twitter channel, some foregoing it completely.

In Australia, only 6% of online consumers follow brands on Twitter (compared to 55% on Facebook) so it can be easy to see why some brands may not be focusing their attention on this social media channel. 

But Lee Hawksley, managing director of ExactTarget Australia, says that this small audience cannot be ignored, because Twitter followers are networkers, leaders and influencers that Australian businesses need.

Hawksley also stresses that just because consumers on Twitter aren’t actively participating in conversations, does not mean that they are not monitoring brands from afar. 

They’re often people who see it as their mission to connect with people - and brands - who share interesting, informative and entertaining content online.

The most active Twitter users tend to be online content creators who blog, rate products, leave comments on websites, and make recommendations to family and friends.

When using Twitter, remember to consider your audience. Consumers want to be heard - especially the influential users on Twitter who follow a brand. Provide them with an intimate view of your brand, so they can share their ‘insider information’ with the rest of the world.

[Image credit: MKHmarketing]

Claire Brinkley

Published 3 June, 2013 by Claire Brinkley

Claire Brinkley is Econsultancy Australia's news and insight reporter. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn

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