Performing advanced data science techniques and analysis of follower graphs and Twitter bios, complex patterns from Twitter data were uncovered at scale. A network representing the connections that people make through Twitter identified which communities persist. These persistent communities (unlike content, which is far more volatile), built on shared understanding and interests, reveals the things that truly matter to audiences.
75 subcommunities were identified, along with the ability to understand what motivates these groups and, crucially, how brands can best engage with them. The study then examined four communities in detail: Health, Music, Football and Gaming. Partner insight agency Join the Dots substantiated the work with online diaries from each community, in-depth interviews, cultural analysis and a quantitative survey to ensure the most robust results.
The analysis uncovered the unique role that Twitter plays within each community and signposts the reasons people engage with them. These engagement insights are useful for brands, indicating what they must do to integrate into and leverage influence within these communities. Of the community members engaged, 93%* said they are open to brands getting involved, if done so in the right way.
Speaking about the project, Dara Nasr, Managing Director, of Twitter UK, said: “Over the last few years Twitter has worked hard to clarify its purpose for brands and advertisers. Ten years ago, everything was about followers, virality, and engagement. The digital media landscape has radically changed, and we needed to rediscover Twitter’s unique purpose amongst our peers - what makes us different, and why should brands and advertise with us. “We realised the answer was simple. Twitter’s unique value is its audience - specifically, Twitter has the most valuable audience when they are most receptive. We needed to become true experts in our audience and know them better than anyone. This research has allowed us to do that.”
This has been a fascinating project, where we’ve been able to draw on our expertise of analysing conversations on Twitter for over five years to create a brand new methodology that finds and categorise communities, and at the same time push the boundaries of data science capabilities. We’re very excited to be helping Twitter understand how communities are created and continue to exist, and what this means for brands on the platform.