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How Twitter users interact with brands and promoted tweets

Most Twitter users (77%) have interacted with a promoted tweet in some way. The largest number, 56%, say they have noticed a promoted tweet, topic or account. Fifteen percent have clicked on a promoted tweet, 8% on a tweet under a promoted hashtag. Almost as many, 7%, have followed a promoted account and 6% have retweeted, replied or favorited a sponsored tweet. In addition, 4% have tweeted using a promoted hashtag.

Interaction type Percent
Noticed a promoted tweet, trending topic or account 56%
Clicked on a link in a promoted tweet 14%
Clicked to look at tweets under a promoted hashtag 8%
Followed a promoted account 7%
Retweeted, replied to or favorited a sponsored tweet 6%
Tweeted using a hashtag that I saw was promoted 4%
Other 8%
None of the above 33%

Data Source: Question: Twitter contains paid content called promoted tweets, topics or accounts. Please tell us when it comes to this kind of promoted content if you have done any of the following. Please select all that apply. (Base: Twitter Users N=3713)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

The reasons for these interactions were also interesting. A third of those have interacted with a promoted tweet in some way (31%) said they had this interaction because the brand “provides something of value to me.” A quarter (25%) said they interacted with the promoted tweet or account because they knew the brand. A somewhat smaller number (15%) said they interacted or recalled the promoted account because it connected to something their “timeline is talking about.”

Interaction Percent
It provides something of value to me 31%
I already know the brand 25%
It connects to something my timeline is talking about 15%
Someone I respect is following the account 6%
Other 10%
None of the above 36%

Data Source: Question: When you notice or respond to promoted content, which of the following reasons best describe why you are inclined to do so? Please check up to two. (Base: Interacted with Promoted Content N=2301)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

Beyond noticing or interacting with a promoted tweet, Twitter users can take another step by interacting with a company itself on Twitter. Fully half of Twitter users (53%) said they had done this.

The largest number 32%, said they had followed a brand account. Almost a quarter, 24%, said they had used a hashtag relating to a brand or ad campaign and 21% had replied to a brand or advertiser on Twitter, while 21% had favorited a tweet by a brand or advertiser. Almost as many, 19%, had retweeted or passed along information in tweets from a brand and 18% had taken part in a competition of some kind set up by a brand on Twitter.

Interaction Percent
Followed a brand account 32%/td>
Used a hashtag relating to a brand or advertising campaign 24%
Replied to a brand or other advertiser 21%
Favorited a tweet by a brand or other advertiser 21%
Retweeted or otherwise passed along information or tweets from a brand 19%
Taken part in a competition via Twitter 18%
Other 3%
None of the above 47%

Data Source: Question: Some companies also use Twitter to reach users directly. Have you ever interacted with companies in the following way? Please select all that apply. (Base: Twitter Users N=3713)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

The survey also asked people how they encounter advertising on Twitter. It came from a variety of means, with no single one standing out. The most common (40%) was hearing about it from people they follow and the same number (39%) from a TV station broadcast. Almost as many (35%) said they discovered a brand’s tweets by hearing about them on TV commercials and (33%) from online news sites. Almost as many said they discovered them during live events such as sports (30%), from blogs (26%) and from newspapers (23%).

Where advertising was seen Percent
From people I follow on Twitter 40%
A TV station's broadcast 39%
A commercial on TV 35%
An online news site 33%
Broadcast of a live event, such as a sports game 30%
A blog 26%
A newspaper's website or apps 23%
From brands I follow on Twitter 22%
A radio station's broadcast 20%
A TV station's website or apps 18%
A print newspaper 15%
A radio station's website or apps 11%
Other 2%
None of the above 24%

Data Source: Question: Thinking about the advertising you encounter that includes a Twitter account or hashtag, where have you encountered that information? Please select all that apply. (Base: Twitter Users N=3713)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

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