India is a key driver of growth for Twitter in Asia Pacific and the social networking service expects cricket fans’ use of the platform during the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament to provide useful behavioural insights for brands.

That is according to Alex Josephson, Twitter’s head of global brand strategy, who told exchange4media in an interview that India is such an important market that the company is doubling the size of its brand strategy team in the country and expanding its technological offerings.

“We are very excited about the IPL coming up because the biggest playground possible for brands to associate with a major sporting event is cricket,” he said.

“We see half of the cricket fans on Twitter and they read cricket tweets several times a day, and they come to Twitter to stay up-to-date about the score and view exclusive content,” he added.

All this activity and the behavioural traits it reveals allows for the collection of data, with insights shared with brands to help them form an effective strategy. “And I think it will be bigger this year than ever before,” Josephson said.

His enthusiastic outlook about the IPL, which is due to start on 23rd March, echoes a recent prediction by ESP Properties, GroupM’s sports and entertainment marketing agency, that consumption of cricket on TV and digital will break all records this year.

The report forecast that storytelling will be one of the biggest marketing trends of 2019 with sports fans, led by cricket, wanting to engage with each other, their sporting heroes, as well as brands, via social media.

With Twitter certain to be among those social platforms, Josephson suggested there are two main areas where it could help brands. “When they are launching something new, and when they are trying to connect with what is happening around an event or activity,” he said.

He cited third party data which suggests that, compared with other digital properties, the average daily Twitter user in India pays up to 11% more attention when they are on the Twitter app. What’s more, 92% of these users follow brands and expect to hear from them.

Sourced from exchange4media; additional content by WARC staff