How Marketers Use Twitter

2013 Twitter Research [Charts]

Twitter Want to reach marketing decision makers on Twitter? Then check out Leadtail and NetBase’s analysis “How Digital Marketers Engage on Twitter” based on the Twitter activity of 515 North American brand, corporate, and agency digital marketers between between April 1st and June 30th, 2013.

1. Platforms used for Twitter sharing

Active social media users find ways to maximize content distribution. As a result, roughly four out five marketers tweet using the Twitter website or tweet buttons. The break out of apps is: 29% use Hootsuite, 20% use TweetDeck and 11% use Buffer. Further, there’s wide array of cross sharing at lower rates.  Twitter apps used by marketers 2013

2. Mobile Twitter sharing

Overwhelmingly, this segment are loyal Apple users since two-thirds used Twitter for iPhone and another 30% used Twitter for iPad as well as other iOS options. By contrast, only 14% used Twitter for Android. (Here’s more research on use of Twitter via mobile.) Mobile apps marketers use  for Twitter 2013

3. Social media platform cross-sharing

It’s no surprise that active Twitter marketers cross-shared with Instagram and Vine, two platforms also focused on short form content.   Leadtail-Social-Media-Insights-Q22013-Social Networks

4. Content shared on Twitter

80% of the content shared on Twitter by marketers is media; 45% is mainstream media and 35% is industry specific media.  Leadtail-Social-Media-Insights-Q22013-Type of Content Shared

5. Top 25 mainstream media sources on Twitter

It’s worth noting that the list includes traditional media outlets like Forbes, the New York Times and CNN as well as online-only entities like the Huffington Post, Gizmodo and Google.

  1. Forbes
  2. Huffington Post
  3. New York Times
  4. BuzzFeed
  5. Fast Company
  6. Wall Street Journal
  7. HBR Blogs
  8. Wired
  9. Inc.
  10. CNN
  11. CNET News
  12. Guardian UK
  13. Washington Post
  14. USA Today
  15. The Atlantic
  16. Gizmodo
  17. NPR
  18. Fast Co Create
  19. Entrepreneur
  20. Google
  21. WSJ Blogs
  22. Businessweek
  23. CNN Money
  24. Fast Co Design
  25. Gawker

6. Top 25 marketing industry sources on Twitter

By contrast, only 2 of the industry sources have traditional media roots, Advertising Age and Ad Week.

  1. Mashable
  2. TechCrunch
  3. Business Insider
  4. Advertising Age
  5. Ad Week
  6. All Things D
  7. VentureBeat
  8. Social Media Today
  9. The Next Web
  10. Media Post
  11. The Verge
  12. Digiday
  13. Read Write Web
  14. Hubspot Blog
  15. Search Engine Land
  16. Marketing Land
  17. BizJournals
  18. GigaOM
  19. Mediabistro
  20. PR Daily
  21. Social Media Examiner
  22. Marketing Profs
  23. AllFacebook
  24. eMarketer
  25. Search Engine Watch

7. Top 10 social media sources on Twitter

The cross promotion of YouTube videos topping the list is interesting since YouTube is the second largest social media site and the second largest search engine. Also of note is the presence of SlideShare, which has fast become a B2B content staple. Since photos are easy-to-snap, share and consume, it makes sense that they account for a large portion of the options.

  1. YouTube
  2. Instagram
  3. Foursquare
  4. Vine
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Facebook
  7. Twitter (Photos)
  8. SlideShare
  9. TwitPic
  10. Pinterest

8. Top 25 people marketers tweet

Like most social media participants, marketers mention others to give them credit for an idea or engage them in a conversation. Most of the people on this list are marketing thought leaders with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton being notable exceptions. Jay Baer tops the list  since his new book  Youtility came out during this period and make the New York Times Bestseller list. (Note: Jay wrote his first book, The Now Revolution, with number 25 on the list Amber Naslund (aka @ambercadabra).  It makes sense that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo are on the list. (BTW: Here’s how to get more Twitter followers.)

  1. @jaybaer
  2. @tedrubin
  3. @garyvee
  4. @jeffbullas
  5. @barackobama
  6. @jowyang
  7. @chrisbrogan
  8. @briansolis
  9. @kimgarst
  10. @cc_chapman
  11. @pammktgnut
  12. @shellykramer
  13. @guykawasaki
  14. @dannysullivan
  15. @darrenrovell
  16. @dickc
  17. @mitchjoel
  18. @markwschafer
  19. @aaronstrout
  20. @hillaryclinton
  21. @marissamayer
  22. @davekerpen
  23. @jack
  24. @ekaterina
  25. @ambercadabra

Using a mix of tools and devices marketers are highly engaged on Twitter. Due to Twitter’s short content allowance (140 characters), much of marketers’ conversation references other media sources, both mainstream and industry focused.

What other insights do you draw from this research?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

P.S. Want to find out more about content marketing and get the tools you and your team need? Then join me at Content Marketing World September 9th through 12th in Cleveland, OH where there are over 60 sessions focused on helping you improve your content effectives.

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Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • http://www.hisocial.com/ Hisocial

    You have presented some interesting insights Heidi. I was a bit surprised to see the list of to ten social media sources on Twitter. I somehow didn’t expect LinkedIn and Foursquare ahead of Facebook.

  • 1asmajor .

    Heidi, these research charts are quite fascinating to observe as social media becomes more and more prominent in our booming technological society. I was shocked to observe the third chart and see that only 4% of Twitter marketers cross-share with Facebook. It seems to me that Facebook and Twitter are the two most prominent social media outlets, but apparently Instagram is expanding at a record breaking rate.