New Twitter Research Focuses on User Emotions
Marketing Social Media

New Twitter Research Focuses on User Emotions

A recent study from Brandwatch provides new insight into the most common emotional trends of Twitter users, giving marketers more data to consider when determining their social media goals.

Brandwatch’s Twitter research project took place from 2013 to 2014 and targeted 52 English-speaking countries. The company used the feedback to create “happiness ratios” based on whether users spoke about their days (or lives) in a positive or negative way. This data was then broken down into regional and gender-based analysis, and compared with other factors such as tweet context and the day of the week a certain tweet was written. While there are some key limitations to this study—such as its inability to gather data from private messages, video, or other popular features on Twitter, and the fact that it only considered English-speaking users—the data collected remains comprehensive and revealing.

Feeling on Twitter

Twitter Research Examines Daily Emotion in PostsThis isn’t the first time emotion has been at the center of Twitter research. In 2014, an Australian research group began work on a live analysis tool that actively filters tweets containing emotional descriptors from around the world. Coca-Cola’s 2015 Super Bowl campaign centered around the hashtag “#MakeItHappy” and encouraged users to flag negative tweets so a program could turn them into more positive images (though it wasn’t long before this automated campaign backfired on them). But for the first time, the stereotype of Twitter as a particularly mood-influenced social platform was backed by research.

The Findings

Of the extensive data Brandwatch collected, the following key trends appeared:

  • Regionally, cities tended to have a higher ratio of positive tweets than their surrounding areas, but no correlation was found between population and positivity.
  • Georgia was the most positive state, while Delaware was the least positive.
  • In terms of gender, men and women were the same in terms of positivity when speaking about their lives in general.
  • When posting about their day, men were typically more positive than women.
  • Women were less likely to use day terms (e.g. “best day ever” or “today was awful”) when speaking about their quality of life than men.
  • Contextually, posts related to work were typically the most negative, whether discussed generally or on a day-to-day basis.
  • Posts about friends and family were typically the most positive, whether general or daily.

Overall, the usefulness of these findings will come down to marketers’ abilities to utilize the data in relation to their social media goals. There is no silver bullet for success buried in these graphs, but the insight into audience dispositions could prove to be an advantageous edge for savvy social media gurus.

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