Most users are on Twitter to communicate with friends, get news or be entertained. But brands are making an impact.

As Twitter evolves its advertising platform, with the latest development being Promoted Tweets to followers, there is concern as to how consumers will react to seeing ads from brands in their Twitter feeds.

Market research firm Lab42 surveyed US Twitter users in August 2011, asking about their habits related to brand engagement. Only 11.1% of US Twitter users said that following brands was the leading reason why they use the site. The top reasons include following friends (17.4%), to get a good laugh (15.6%), to get the news (15.1%) and to share the news (13.9%).

Additionally, about half of US Twitter users follow between one and 10 brands on the site. Only 10.6% of respondents said they don’t follow any brands, while 8.2% of US Twitter users follow more than 50 brands on Twitter.

Number of Brands They Follow According to US Twitter Users, Aug 2011 (% of respondents)

However, when it comes to consumers’ attitudes toward Twitter’s primary ad product, Promoted Tweets, things are promising. Only 10.9% of US Twitter users said Promoted Tweets are “annoying and take away from the Twitter experience.” More often, Twitter users are open to Promoted Tweets, with 24.8% reporting that they have seen Promoted Tweets from brands that are relevant to them. More than one-fifth of users said they have gotten a discount (21.6%) or have found out about a new brand through a Promoted Tweet (21.2%). Additionally, 14% of respondents said they have retweeted a Promoted Tweet.

Attitude of US Twitter Users Toward Promoted Tweets, Aug 2011 (% of respondents)

As marketers become more noticeable to consumers on Twitter through Promoted Products advertisements, Twitter users seem open to engaging. If these ads stay relevant and allow consumers to control how they interact with brands, marketers will have yet another social ad platform to use to build up followers.

SOURCE eMarketer

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