The Twitter Riddle: Why This Crowd Is Buying, RTing, and Engaging More

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As Twitter continues to explode, the music industry is just starting to wrap its head around what this format means.

Woe is the label or band that ignores the tweet, especially given its highly-viral nature.  “The question has moved from ‘why’ to ‘why not,'” explained Twitter executive Matt Graves during a recent presentation at Bandwidth in San Francisco.

Okay, so (mostly) everyone’s on board.  But a few studies are showing higher levels of engagement among Twitter followers.  A few months ago, one study showed that video viewing sessions are longer from Twitter redirects.  And, a study recently conducted by ExactTarget found that purchasing and recommendation intents are higher among the Twitter population.  The format even beat out email and Facebook along these key metrics – and when it came to purchasing intent, Twitter doubled that of Facebook, as shown here:

> Users who ‘strongly agree’ that they are more likely to purchase after becoming a fan, follower, or subscriber:

Twitter follower: 37%
Email subscriber: 27%
Facebook fan: 17%

But dig deeper, and the plot thickens.  Twitter is massive and quickly-growing, but its total population is still dwarfed by Facebook and email.  Meaning, this is a relatively early-moving crowd already hyper-engaged in digital media and entertainment. “Because of Twitter’s much smaller user base, just 3 percent of US internet users follow a brand through the microblogging service,” an eMarketer report explained. “Those who do follow brands on Twitter are likely to be influencers in general, while Facebook users are more like the average consumer.”

At least, that’s the way it looks right now.

Report by Alexandra Osorio.