EUROPE: Marketers can usefully look beyond the content of tweets to the profile descriptions of Twitter users to help them understand local cultural patterns, an industry figure has said.

Writing in Marketing Land, Chris Kerns, VP/Research at Spredfast, outlined findings that emerged from the latest edition of the social marketing agency's The Smart Social Report.

The agency examined more than 4m Twitter profiles across five European countries – Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the UK – to discover patterns around language usage and labels.

While some people listed their job, others highlighted an allegiance to a favourite sports team. "By looking at profile descriptions for millions of Twitter users, we can see some interesting patterns emerge about how groups of people describe themselves," Kerns said.

So, for example, in every country, the words "love" and/or "lover" appeared in the top ten profile terms and was usually describing a particular passion, such as music, sport or travel. And, specifically, a love of music made the top ten in every country, with Germany at the top.

Location – such as a home city – or nationality also made the top ten in every country except Spain.

And links to users' accounts other social channels were also widespread; Instagram was especially popular, while Snapchat only appeared in French Twitter profiles – but came in at the No. 1 spot there.

Twitter users in the UK were by far the most likely to mention their job – more than twice as likely as Spain, the next nearest country.

Spain topped the list for mentions of sports, while Germany was ahead of the rest as regards travel references.

Kerns noted that Spain was also the top European country as regards sharing references to religion, but even it was far behind the US.

"As a marketer, you need to understand local cultural patterns when you're leveraging data to target your audience," he said.

"Profile data, accounts users follow, and influencers they reach out to can tell the story behind the story, and help you find new – and hopefully more responsive – crowds to engage with."

Data sourced from Marketing Land; additional content by Warc staff