How Digital Marketers Engage on Twitter

Do you know how digital marketers engage on Twitter? It may seem like an obvious question, but by now you’ve probably seen your fair share of mishaps and fails to understand that this is a valid inquiry. But answering the question isn't so much about best practices. Rather it's about learning more about what tools they use, what content they share and who they consider to be the most worthy of retweeting. 

The folks at Leadtail used their own Social Media Insights technology to analyze data from Twitter, while leveraging NetBase’s Social Intelligence Platform to gain insights into some of the consumer brands that digital marketers engage with often. As a result, they were able to identify how digital marketers describe themselves on the social web, which social networks digital marketers are active on, and what topics they talk about, as well as the types of media sources these marketing professionals consume and share.

Who Are Digital Marketers?

For this survey, Leadtail’s sample came mostly from North America. As for the words they used to describe themselves, they represent a variety of personal descriptives. In others, digital marketers are just like us. They’re foodies, parents, book lovers. They travel, blog, and are passionate about what they do -- and they want the rest of us to know all about it. Digital marketers are human, who let their personal attributes influence their professional lives.

What Do Digital Marketers Talk About?

If hashtags are any indication, digital marketers talk about current events, social media, television shows and startup technologies.



Leadtail's wordcloud shows the many different hashtags frequently used by digital marketers.

And where do they talk the most? Behind Twitter, digital marketers can be found on Instagram (52%), Foursquare (32%), Vine (27%) and LinkedIn (25%) the most. Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook each represented approximately five percent of the platforms they use.

What Tools Do They Use?

Most Tweet directly from within Twitter (81%) or use the Tweet button (77%). Hootsuite (29%), LinkedIn (25%), Tweetdeck (20%) and Buffer (11%) trailed behind. On their smartphones, digital marketers use Twitter for iPhone (66%) and Instragram (52%) apps the most. Foursquare (32%), Twitter for iPad (30%) and Vine (25%) were also popular, as were iOS apps (Safari, Camera and Photos).


Learning Opportunities

What Content is Shared?

When it comes to the content shared the most by digital marketers, mainstream media (45%) dominates, covering a broad range of topics and publishers like Forbes, Huffington Post, New York Times and Buzzfeed.


However, industry-specific sites (35%) aren’t far behind, while news and information generated directly from social media only made up 17% of the content shared. This indicates that user-generated content may not be as trusted or as useful as content published directly to well-known media sites. Still content from YouTube, Instagram, and Foursquare were the most popular.

It’s one thing to share others’ content from a specific site, it’s another to retweet what someone else shared. It’s commonly assumed that people RT because they like it. Yet, according to Leadtail’s survey, digital marketers RT because they think their followers will like it. It doesn’t hurt however, if you’re Barack Obama, Jeremiah Owang, Darren Rovell, Guy Kawasawki or Jack Dorsey -- as they represent five of the most retweeted people by digital marketers. When it comes to brands digital marketers retweet the most Mashable, Fast Company and Tech Crunch win out.

What Does This All Mean?

Does all this data mean that digital marketers are setting the trends or following them? Nothing that they are do is particularly brazen or cutting edge. They’re using the tools we may have guessed they would and following the people and sharing content from the sites that we assumed they would. Does that mean that those people and sites are the best or the most trusted? Or are they the most popular and get the most attention from others?

Digital marketers are between a rock and a hard place. They need to be on the cutting edge to do their job well -- using the newest tools like Vine and Instagram; but at the same time they need to wait for consumers to show them what’s cool.