Four insights about millennials on Twitter

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

School’s out, and smartphones are in hand. With summer in full swing, millennials are turning to Twitter to see the latest World Cup stats, laugh at the newest @MindyKaling quip, or share their feelings about “The Fault In Our Stars.” This season is a prime time to catch millennials’ attention, so we thought we’d share some of their favorite ways to engage on Twitter. As a bonus, you’ll see some data-based tips for brands about the best ways to build buzz with this key demographic.

The information comes from our User Profile Study, an online survey conducted in partnership with DB5. We surveyed U.S. Twitter users who signed into the platform weekly, and defined millennials as users ages 18-34.

Four insights about millennials on Twitter

1. When millennials check their phones, they check Twitter.

It’s rare to see a millennial without a smartphone in easy reach, and 80% of millennial Twitter users access Twitter on a mobile device. This generation loves to stay in the loop, whether it involves keeping track of their favorite celebrities, learning about the hottest new products, or exchanging one-liners with friends. Eighty-one percent check Twitter at least once a day, and 15% do so more than ten times a day. They’re also eager to join the conversation and have their voices heard. Most (60%) tweet at least once a day.

Tip: Tweet at least once a day with relevant content to engage these avid users, and experiment with new formats. For example, this Tweet from @Transformers features a GIF from the upcoming movie to boost excitement about the release.

2. Millennials rely on Twitter to banish boredom.

Millennials say they use Twitter because it brings fun and laughter into their lives. Nearly half (47%) agree that Twitter means “laughing” or “a cure for boredom,” and when they come across a funny Tweet, most (82%) share it. Overall, 60% say they are more entertained because of Twitter.

Tip: When appropriate, don’t hesitate to share humorous content — especially when it shows off inside knowledge of your target audience. For example, while “5SOS” may not be a familiar term to some of us, Denny’s knew that it stood for 5 Seconds of Summer, an Australian pop punk band beloved by millennials. They included the reference in this funny Tweet.

3. Millennials think Twitter enhances live experiences.

Millennials love seeing concerts, watching sports and tuning in to awards shows on TV. Most millennials (71%) also think that tweeting about an event as they’re experiencing it makes it more fun. Many (70%) enjoy reading Tweets while tracking a live event on television, from the Oscars to the Olympics, and some (67%) say they would follow or contribute to a hashtag related to these events.

Tip: Keep a calendar of upcoming live events and prepare ways to engage in advance. Make sure to have someone cover your handle during the event as well to react in real time. For example, Trident and other brands quickly generated Tweets in response to plays at the World Cup.

4. Millennials use Twitter to tell their own stories.

Millennials have a unique perspective, and they’re not shy about sharing it. Most (56%) say that Twitter is about sharing, and they use Twitter to document their lives in real time. The top categories they tweet about include random thoughts (67%), fun activities (57%), current events (53%) and jokes/humor (46%). Many users (42%) also like to share photos.

Tip: Offer millennials a way to share information about themselves while also engaging with your brand. For example, @MadMen_AMC came up with a sophisticated way for users to tweet that they would be watching the Mad Men season finale last April: they enabled users to customize an image of a Mad Men character that stated the user would be “out of office” during the show.

We look forward to seeing your brands experiment with these strategies. Tweet your best examples to @TwitterAds.