Research into brand behaviour on popular micro-blogging site reveals consumers aren’t paying attention to them

Research carried out by social media and online PR specialist, immediate future, reveals that approximately one third of brands using Twitter as a PR and marketing tool, have almost no impact on their audience.

The research, entitled The Truth about Twitter, examines the behaviour of a cross section of 140 leading UK and global brands on Twitter. As well as analysing how they use the channel to communicate with consumers, the research looks at how often people forward or ‘retweet’ each company’s tweets to their own followers.

A third of the brands featured in the research receive no retweets at all, a clear sign that their followers never find their communications interesting enough to share with their own networks.

Managing Director of immediate future, Katy Howell said, “When marketers talk about Twitter, the focus is too often simply on the number of followers. This doesn’t give you a realistic picture of how well the organisation is engaging with its audience, since it can be quite easy to drum up a large number of followers, even if most of them aren’t that interested in what the brand has to say. But by examining how often its posts are retweeted we can get a much better idea of how interested people are in engaging with a brand. In effect, the more a brand is retweeted, the more it has the attention of its audience.”

The research shows that many brands are following relatively high numbers of Twitter users compared to the number of users who are actually following them back. This is potentially damaging since it is viewed by most as undesirable ‘spammy’ behaviour.

Howell adds, “The problem is that many brands view Twitter as a broadcast channel and they measure their success on the size of their audience, rather than the level of engagement they have with their followers. The best brands attract followers by having something interesting to say and engaging their audience in a genuine conversation.

Organisations which think it’s good enough to build up a large number of Twitter followers and broadcast the same old tired corporate messaging at them are not only missing the point, but also the opportunity.”

A full copy of the Truth about Twitter report can be downloaded at:


About immediate future

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact / +44 (0) 845 408 2031.

About immediate future
immediate future is an independent public relations company that specialises in digital PR for brands alongside business and corporate public relations for the digital marketing industry.

Specialists in online PR and social media relations the company helps brands manage the online conversation and build a positive reputation. Campaigns are enhanced with influential blog relations; SEO PR increases search engines visibility; and online press coverage generates advocacy.
immediate future represents clients such as Sony Europe, Diageo, BBC, PSP, NSPCC, Kinder Bueno, RSPCA and CW Jobs. For more information please visit