Telecoms brands drive Twitter buzz in South Africa

05 May 2010

JOHANNESBURG: Telecoms and technology brands generate the most buzz among Twitter users in South Africa, according to a new study.

Fuseware, the digital agency, reported that there are currently 55,000 active members of Twitter in the country, defined as people who "tweet" on at least a monthly basis.

More specifically, this audience was found to be responsible for a total of 1.5 million posts on the microblogging platform each month.

The average user was following 122 other netizens and typically had 115 fans tracking their activity in a similar way.

Vodacom, Eskom and Microsoft were the companies which delivered the most word of mouth on Twitter, with Nokia and MTN also the subject of large amounts of consumer feedback.

Elsewhere, Adidas and Nike, the apparel brands, featured frequently in Twitter conversations, as did Samsung in the consumer electronics sector, BMW in the auto category and Coke in the FMCG segment.

Looking at the tone of the comments made about brands, Fuseware said "sentiment analysis … has indicated that many of them are negative."

Overall, just 26% of all tweets were added using Twitter itself, with the majority being uploaded from third-party services such as Tweetdeck and Twitterfeed, and 2% being registered from Facebook.

Mobile was another popular way of using Twitter, with between 35% and 40% of tweets being made from wireless handsets.

Based on its findings, Fuseware reported that Twitter was the seventh most visited website in South Africa, suggesting a high rate of repeat visits by its users. 

However, the South African Twitter audience is also a highly concentrated one, with almost two-thirds of members based in either Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Data sourced from Fuseware/iAfrica; additional content by Warc staff