Corporate Eye

How Twitter Psychology Affects Consumers and Brands

It’s not a revelation that brands should have a presence on Twitter. Consumers spend a great deal of time on the most popular microblogging site, so it makes sense for brands to spend time there, too. It’s a perfect place to engage, share useful information, and build relationships that lead to brand loyalty and brand buzz. But did you know that you might be doing some things on Twitter that are destroying your brand’s chances for success?

WhiteFire SEO created a great infographic that highlights the psychology of Twitter so you can get a better understanding of the activities that interest users and the activities that annoy users. You can see the infographic below.

According to the infographic, over-tweeting is a big turn off. The reasons people unfollow other people (or brands) on Twitter are:

  • They tweet too much = 66%
  • Their tweets seem automated = 58%
  • They share the same link multiple times = 47%
  • They don’t tweet = 38%
  • They tweet about themselves all the time = 34%

It’s interesting that people are more likely to unfollow a Twitter user who tweets too frequently than they are likely to unfollow someone who doesn’t tweet at all. This is an extremely significant statistic because it supports what social media marketers tell companies all the time. If your Twitter updates sound like corporate rhetoric or sales pitches or if your updates are entirely self-promotional, no one will want to follow you. Instead, successful brands on Twitter are the ones that provide useful information to their audiences, share their audiences’ content, interact with their audiences, and do so in a personable voice.

When it comes to tweeting too much on Twitter, the Twitter psychology infographic shows that 36 or more Twitter updates is too much. Of course, this isn’t a rule, but when in doubt, it seems that tweeting less frequently is a better strategy than tweeting more frequently.

Another interesting fact is how people find other people (or brands) to follow on Twitter. Most find people to follow through a retweet or @mention from someone else that they already follow. Here are the specific details related to why people follow other people on Twitter:

  • See a retweet/mention from someone they follow = 55%
  • Follow back someone who follows them = 42%
  • Found by searching for related interests = 32%
  • Suggested by Twitter = 16%
  • Recommended in a follow Friday tweet = 13%

According to the infographic, most people follow other Twitter users when they see those other people in retweets or @mentions by others in their Twitter streams. That means brands need to get retweeted! 9 out of 10 people will retweet useful information and 8 out of 10 will retweet humorous content. Other ways people will retweet content on Twitter is if that content is published by a personal connection or celebrity. If your brand doesn’t have personal connections yet or a celebrity relationship, then offering an incentive is likely to get 3 out of 10 people to retweet your content.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.