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How Companies Use Twitter: Big Brands vs. Small Brands

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Big brands tweet more often than smaller publicly traded companies, according to a recent report by Simply Measured.

However, smaller companies share more links and use more hashtags in their tweets than their bigger brethren. 

The study examined the Twitter activity in 4Q13 of the Interbrand 2013 Top 100 Brands and the Forbes 100 Best Small Companies in America—which includes organizations with annual revenues of $5 million to $1 billion.

Not surprisingly, Simply Measured's analysis found the Interbrand 100 have more followers and retweets than the smaller companies. However, the larger brands are also posting more often to Twitter: They tweeted 12 times a day on average in 4Q13, compared with three times daily for the smaller companies.


Below, additional key findings from the report.

Tweet Frequency

  • Of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands, 98% tweeted at least once daily during 4Q13, and 92% tweeted more than once a day.
  • In contrast, 56% of the 100 Best Small Companies didn't tweet on a daily basis.

Link Types

  • For the Interbrand 100 companies, including image links in tweets paid off well in terms of engagement.
  • Tweets that included pic.twitter.com links averaged 210 engagements (replies, mentions, retweets, and favorites) in 4Q13. The next highest-performing types were Tumblr and Pinterest links, followed by Vine links.

Top 10 Brands

  • The top 10 brands (by engagement) from the Interbrand 100 companies accounted for 60% of the list's engagement in 4Q13, even though they accounted for only 38% of the total audience.
  • Those 10 brands averaged 1,562 tweets per month, more than 4x as many as the entire-list average of 380 tweets.

About the research: The report was based on data from the 4Q13 Twitter account activity of the Interbrand 2013 Top 100 Brands and the Forbes 100 Best Small Companies in America.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and the co-founder of Inbound ContentWorks, a marketing agency that specializes in content creation for businesses and brands. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His past experience includes working for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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Comments

  • by Tameka Vasquez Tue Jan 28, 2014 via web

    It really goes without saying these days that frequency, relevance and engagement is key when it comes to social media. Of course the bigger brands have more manpower, but still. Great article!

  • by Ayaz Nanji Tue Jan 28, 2014 via web

    Thanks Tameka! And agreed on all three (frequency, relevance, and engagement).

  • by cashOne Tue Jan 28, 2014 via web

    Hello, Thanks to share this information. I gone through this article. Really this article contains such a great social networking site which business firms uses for their growth. The data are really intersting. Thanks a lot share this.

  • by Katarina Wright Tue Jan 28, 2014 via web

    Interesting article and data. From volume perspective, big brand clearly share more links and use more hashtags. But if you look at ratio # of tweets and links or hashtags, then it appears that smaller brands include these more frequently when they do indeed tweet - doesn't it?
    Link inclusion: small business 64%, big brand 42%
    Hashtag inclusion: small business 59%, big brand 47%

  • by Ayaz Nanji Wed Jan 29, 2014 via web

    Thanks cashOne! Katarinia - thanks for the (very important) catch. you're absolutely right on the data. Large brands are using more hashtags and links overall, but on a per post basis the numbers actually switch. We'll amend the piece to make that clear.

  • by Gracious Store Wed Jan 29, 2014 via web

    Does the number of tweets a brand/comapany sends out actually corresponds to the number of followers and actual engagement a brand/company has with its followers and do they real translate to measureable traffic to the website that converts?

  • by Kimmy Burgess Thu Jan 30, 2014 via web

    It seems like tweeting is a major resources for the all brands to stay competitive, but the above date shared is truly inspiring where it is giving full fledged information as which brand is dominating through its tweeting skills to draw interest of its viewers.

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