Twitter guides gadget shoppers from discovery to purchase

Thursday, 18 September 2014

If smartphones, flat screen TVs and tablets are on your holiday shopping list, you’re not alone. Research from the Consumer Electronics Association shows that 74% of holiday shoppers intend to buy consumer electronics this year.

For consumer electronics brands looking to boost sales, Twitter users are a valuable audience. Our latest research with Millward Brown shows that Twitter users are more likely to be early adopters than non-users, and their tech budgets for the next six months are 25% higher than those of non-users. To help brands reach, engage and influence Twitter users this holiday season, we’ve put together some data-based recommendations.

1. In a crowded market, Twitter enables discovery

The consumer electronics market is fiercely competitive, and ensuring your brand stands out is more important than ever. A study we conducted with Millward Brown showed that Twitter is better at bringing products to shoppers’ attention than an average of the six social networks measured (Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr). The survey indicated that tech shoppers are 40% more likely to discover new products on Twitter than on the average social network.

Another study we completed with Millward Brown found that approximately half of the Twitter audience uses the platform to discover new electronics products. According to the survey, Tweets from brands are their top source of information.

Tip: Generate buzz about your products early in the season by Tweeting product videos, photos and links. Earlier this month, @SamsungMobileUS stirred excitement about the #GalaxyNote4.

2. Twitter shortens the distance between discovery and purchase

The real-time and public nature of the Twitter platform creates an environment for product consideration unlike any other. Most (80%) of the electronics audience on Twitter sees the platform as a unique consideration forum, thanks in large part to its ability to show the most up-to-date brand information and the most popular topics surrounding a brand.

Not surprisingly, users turn to the platform when evaluating an electronics purchase. Potential buyers on Twitter are 150% more likely to have a conversation with a tech brand on Twitter than on the average social network. Furthermore, Twitter users are 34% more likely to use the platform to get feedback on which products to buy than the average social network user.

Tweet content matters: 45% of Twitter users said they’d like to see expert reviews of new products on Twitter.

Tip: Engage users in conversation about your products and Retweet positive reviews. Here’s an example of the latter from @LGUSAMobile.

3. Twitter influences tech purchases

Product recommendations from friends, brand Tweets and positive brand interactions lead to purchases. Overall, 66% of tech intenders on Twitter said something they saw or did on Twitter spurred them to take action.

Among social networks, Twitter has the greatest impact on users’ purchase decisions. Research showed that 8% of Twitter users have made a tech purchase as a result of something they saw on Twitter, making Twitter users 60% more likely to make a tech purchase after seeing platform content than users of other social networks.

Tip: Tweet often throughout the holiday season, and encourage others to share your content. To spread the word about its new laptop hybrid, Hewlett-Packard (@HP) recruited @VineApp influencers:

Study details

The first study we conducted with Millward Brown consisted of a 10-minute online questionnaire. We surveyed 1,501 U.S. online consumers, age 18 or older, who told us they planned to make a tech product purchase within the next 12 months. We compared Twitter users to users of other top social networks, and defined a user as someone who logged in to a platform at least once a month.

For this second study with Millward Brown, we surveyed 5,175 U.S. online consumers. We separated them into two groups: the Twitter tech audience, defined as users who followed one of five top tech brands, had seen or engaged with a Promoted Tweet from one of these brands or who had used a tech hashtag; and the Twitter general audience, defined as users who logged in at least once a month.