UK and US Twitter use diverges

23 July 2013
LONDON: Britons are less likely than their American counterparts to be negative on Twitter, according to new research from 360i, the digital agency.

The study, which used a combination of interviews and data from 400 tweets, suggested that 40% of British tweets "express joy", compared to 30% in the US, the Drum reports. On the other hand, 14% of American tweets expressed anger, against 5% of UK tweets.

Residents of both nations were unlikely to talk about brands. Such updates made up 6% of the overall conversation in the UK and 5% in the US.

There was greater divergence in daily usage of the social networks, with Americans sending almost 25% of their tweets between 7pm and 8pm. UK usage was more evenly spread throughout the day and peaked at 12-1pm.

Britons also tended to use Twitter as a conversation rather than a broadcast medium, with 36% of the nation's tweets an @reply. This total went down to 15% in the US.

On the other hand, retweets were much more popular in the US, at 31% to 17%.

In both countries, original content made up a minority of tweets, making up 38% of the total in the UK versus 36% in the US.

In comments accompanying the research, 360i suggested that advertisers should tailor their social media marketing approach to reflect national differences in usage.

"In the US, being 'real' and “genuine” is considered a virtue; consumers want brands to have the same problems as they do, so quips about long lines and other frustrations help make the brand more relatable," the 360i report added.

"UK consumers are not expecting brands to be people; they are simply looking to be entertained and engaged in valuable conversation."

Data sourced from The Drum/Econsultancy; additional content by Warc staff
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