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Advertisers Much More Likely Than Consumers to Believe in Power of Twitter

Harris Interactive (Business Wire) - 23 July 2009

Advertisers Much More Likely Than Consumers to Believe in Power of Twitter

Though very few advertisers and consumers say it is a very effective tool for promoting products and ideas

Harris Interactive logoROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--What are you doing? It seems like everyone, especially in the media, is answering that question in 140 characters or less with a “tweet” and letting their “followers” know what they are up to each hour of the day. But is Twitter something that is in its infancy, something that is just a media darling or has it already experienced its fifteen minutes of fame?

These are some of the results of a new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll® of 1,015 advertisers from agencies or corporations who are involved in the advertising decision making process surveyed online between June 22 and 30, 2009 and 2,025 U.S. adults surveyed online between June 24 and 26, 2009.

Opinion of Twitter

Just under half of advertisers (45%) say that Twitter is something is in its infancy and its use will grow exponentially over the next few years, while one in five (21%) believe Twitter will not move into the mainstream and is something mostly young people and the media will use. Just under one in five advertisers (17%) believe Twitter is already over and it’s time to find the next best thing while 17% of advertisers say they don’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion on it.

Among consumers it is a different story altogether, as over two-thirds (69%) say they do not know enough about Twitter to have an opinion about it. Just over one in ten say it is just at its infancy (12%), 12% also say it is just something that young people and the media will use and 8% of consumers say it is already over and it’s time to find the next best thing.

As might be expected, there is also an age divide on opinions of Twitter. Younger advertisers are more likely to have an opinion on Twitter than their older counterparts (only 11% of 18-39 year olds do not know enough about Twitter to have an opinion compared to 20% of advertisers 40-49 years old and 21% of advertisers 50 and older). Among consumers, the same applies and only half (55%) of adults, 18-34 years old say they don’t know enough to have an opinion, compared to 80% of those 55 and older.

Effectiveness of Twitter

Among those who have an opinion regarding Twitter, feelings about the effectiveness of it for promoting products and ideas are lukewarm among both consumers and advertisers. Among advertisers, just 8% say Twitter is very effective for promoting products and ideas while half (50%) say it is somewhat effective. One-third (34%) of advertisers say it is not that effective and 8% believe it is not at all effective for promoting products and ideas. Among consumers, 8% also say it is very effective for promoting ideas and products and 42% believe it is just somewhat effective. Three in ten (31%) consumers say Twitter is not that effective and 19% feel it is not at all effective for promoting products and ideas.

So What?

Although those of us who watch cable newscasts can’t help but notice their proclivity to invite us to follow the show or host on Twitter, it does not seem as though Twitter has made it mainstream yet, let alone to its edge. While advertisers and marketers expect Twitter to grow, its effectiveness as a marketing tool will most likely hinge on consumer education: consumers need to learn more about what it is, why they should pay attention to it, and why they should “tweet.” It is the advertisers and marketers who should play the lead role in promoting consumer education if they truly want to move Twitter beyond infancy and into its “tween years.”

 

TABLE 1

OPINION OF TWITTER

“Thinking about Twitter, what is closest to your opinion?”

Base: Advertisers

    Total   Age
Advertisement

  18-39   40-49   50+
  %   %   %   %
Twitter is something that is just at its infancy and its use will grow exponentially over the next few years   45   41   45   39
Twitter is something that mostly young people and the media will use, but it will not move more into the mainstream   21   19   22   24
Twitter is already over and it’s time to find the next best thing   17   21   13   16
I don’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion   17   11   20   21

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 2

OPINION OF TWITTER

“Thinking about Twitter, what is closest to your opinion?”

Base: All adults

    Total   Age

  18-34   35-44   45-54   55+
  %   %   %   %   %
Twitter is something that is just at its infancy and its use will grow exponentially over the next few years   12   17   12   11   7
Twitter is something that mostly young people and the media will use, but it will not move more into the mainstream   12   16   9   10   9
Twitter is already over and it’s time to find the next best thing   8   12   7   6   4
I don’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion   69   55   72   73   80

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 3

EFFECTIVENESS OF TWITTER

“When it comes to promoting products and ideas, how effective do you think Twitter is?”

Base: Advertisers and U.S. adults who have an opinion on Twitter

    Advertisers   Adults
  %   %
Very Effective   8   8
Somewhat Effective   50   42
Not That Effective   24   31
Not At All Effective   8   19

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

This LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll® was conducted online within the United States between June 24 and 26, 2009 among 2,025 adults (aged 18 and older) and between June 22 and 30, 2009, among 1,015 advertisers (aged 18 and over).

For the adults, figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income, connection type and Internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the online population. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. Adult respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

For the advertisers, figures for company size and type were weighted where necessary. The advertiser respondents for this survey were selected from LinkedIn’s members who have agreed to participate in survey research.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn takes your personal business network online, giving you access to people, jobs and opportunities like never before. Built upon trusted connections and relationships, LinkedIn has established the world’s largest and most powerful business network. Currently, over 43 million professionals are on LinkedIn, representing all five hundred of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as a wide range of household names in technology, financial services, media, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, fashion, and numerous other industries. LinkedIn is backed by world-class investors including Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, the European Founders Fund, Bessemer Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and now Goldman Sachs, The McGraw-Hill Companies, and SAP Ventures. The LinkedIn Research Network is the world’s largest source of highly profiled and quality B2B respondents for the Market Research community.

Contacts

Harris Interactive Inc.
Carol Fricke, 800-866-7655 x7479
Corporate Communications
or
LinkedIn Corporation
For Press inquiries: press@linkedin.com
For Advertising inquiries: advertising@linkedin.com
For Market Research inquiries: surveys@linkedin.com

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