March 25, 2014

Press Release

Twitter Followers of Fortune Global 100 Companies are More Connected and Influential than Average Twitter Users

Technology and Automobile Industries Have Most Socially Connected Twitter Followers; Healthcare and Retail Industry Lag

New York, March 25, 2014 – Individuals who follow Fortune Global 100 companies on Twitter are more connected and more influential than the average Twitter user, according to research that analyzes the influence and demographics of people using the social media platform. A detailed presentation and analysis of the findings is available here. This study follows Burson-Marsteller’s Twiplomacy research, which analyzes the influence and reach of world leaders on Twitter.

The research, produced by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations firm, and StatSocial, a leading social media analytics platform and data provider formerly known as PeekAnalytics, found that those who follow the world’s large companies have, on average, 735 connections across all social media platforms compared to just 300 average connections for those who do not.

In addition, those who follow the world’s largest global corporations on Twitter are:

  • Male: 1.3 times more likely to be male than the average Twitter user.
  • Older: 1.3 times more likely to be between 46 and 55; and 1.4 times more likely to be between the ages of 36 and 45.
  • Global: Fifty-four percent of the followers of large global companies are from the United States, but followers of large global companies are 1.3 times more likely to be from the United Kingdom and 6.4 times more likely to be from Mexico than the followers of the average Twitter account.

Followers of large global companies on Twitter are also more likely to be interested in automobiles (1.2 times), business (1.2 times), technology (1.2 times) and politics (1.09 times) compared with average Twitter users.

In addition to increased social connections, followers of the Fortune Global 100 are 3,274 times more influential than average Twitter followers. Follower influence, however – defined as how well connected the followers are across 60 social sites – varies by industry. According to the study, companies in the technology and automotive sectors have the most socially connected and influential followers. Their followers are approximately 1,300 times more influential than the average Twitter user. Conversely, followers of leading global healthcare and retail companies are just 43 and 329 times more influential than the average Twitter user.

Social Connectivity and Influence of Followers by Sector

Twitter Study Results table 2

“Having a presence on Twitter enables corporations to reach a broad online audience,” said Michael Bassik, Burson-Marsteller’s U.S. digital practice chair. “To effectively attract more influential followers, marketers of all sizes can benefit from following the example of large global technology and automobile companies by focusing on compelling storytelling, responsive engagement and paid media amplification.”

“It is very much worth the effort for a brand to cultivate its social audience,” said Michael Hussey, StatSocial CEO. “For marketing purposes alone it can be a unique goldmine of data—essentially serving as a panel of consumers whose work, schooling, income, likes and dislikes across other brands, activities, interests and TV shows can now be known, and even compared to those of other social audiences’—a competitor’s, for example. We’ve moved beyond a world where Twitter and Facebook are just tools for measuring engagement and performing customer service, and into a world where your social audience is your real-time market research panel.”

About this Study
Data was collected by StatSocial in Q3 and Q4 2013 based on followers of the largest Twitter account from each of the Fortune Global 100 companies. Burson-Marsteller analyzed data in the seven industries of the Fortune Global 100 including automobile, energy, financial, healthcare, retail, technology and telecommunication.

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 72 offices and 84 affiliate offices, together operating in 109 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a unit of WPP, the world’s leading communications services network. For more information, please visit bm.com.

About StatSocial
StatSocial (formerly PeekAnalytics) gives the Nielsen or Comscore audience insights for social media. Traditional listening platforms (Radian6, Social Guide, etc.) can tell you #TopChef was tweeted 1 million times yesterday, but not much else. What StatSocial does is tell you who those 1 million people are – their demographics (age, sex, geo-location, including Nielsen DMAs), income and education levels, social influence, and affinities for 370 interests, 5,000 consumer brands, 350 TV shows, and 20,000 celebrities. For more information, visit StatSocial.com.