Discovering brand opportunities on micro communities for Twitter

Discovering brand opportunities on micro communities for Twitter

Going beyond regular research, our Culture + Trends solution provides future-facing insights that impact innovation, customer experience and branding challenges. Together with Twitter we explored brand territories on social media.

The challenge

Twitter is the well-known microblogging and social networking service. They could see there was a significant and growing trend around micro communities on their platform. What they didn’t understand, however, were behaviour and needs on these communities; and the opportunities for brand partners to successfully engage with their consumers.

Our solution

Twitter used a hybrid approach, including cutting-edge data science analysis and primary research, thus uncovering 75 subcommunities.

Culture + Trends research was an important piece of the puzzle. Our goal was to deep dive into the culture shifts and psychological needs behind emerging community behaviours. For example, how is the growing loneliness crisis creating a new demand for closed online community groups? Furthermore, what role is Twitter playing and what does this mean for its brand partners?

We combined a unique blend of resources. In an initial phase of secondary research, we used social intelligence to analyze follower graphs and bios. We then used our Illume Network of leading-edge consumers to deep dive into four showcase communities: Health, Music, Football, and Gaming. We selected five cultural curator Illume Guides that were proactively driving their community forward. For example, for gaming, we spoke to an eSports Caster that wants to make gaming a legitimate sport. For Health, we spoke to a mental health start-up owner. We conducted in-depth interviews and online diaries with each Guide; we explored where their community is heading, what the role of Twitter is, and what role they think brands should and could take up.


The impact

Our Culture + Trends exploration with Illume Guides enables us to identify a powerful narrative around the emerging needs of people on communities on Twitter – and to identify where brands have the right to play. People want to feel part of a broader conversation, stay connected, and access up-to-date information and news.​ Discovering entertaining content and receiving emotional support was next in the list, and finally, the opportunity to influence others. ​

The results were brought to life at Twitter’s annual brand event, via immersive room installations and in a set of community playbooks.  The project was presented at ESOMAR Fusion 2019, and has been submitted for a range of industry awards.

Twitter client testimonial on InSites Consulting

The Illume Guides really brought the output to life in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, not just in terms of the experiential event spaces but also in the deck by bringing all the research back to real people and their real experiences. And the Culture + Trends work placed everything in a broader context; this helped deepen our understanding of what was happening on Twitter (e.g., with mental health); it also ensured that things like the recommendations for brands were relevant more broadly, and were more strategic and not necessarily Twitter-specific.”

 Rob Sanders, Head of Advertising Research, Twitter

We’d love to showcase what Culture + Trends can do for your brand. So get in touch to request your showcase!

Twitter clearly understands the importance of word of mouth and its ripple effect to grow strong brands, a thinking in line with the beliefs of the ‘Influencer Religion‘. This is one of the five schools of thought, or Brand Religions, we identified in the abundance of theories and frameworks available out there on how to grow strong brands.

Brand Religions bookzine by InSites Consulting

Brand Religions

Simplifying the world of marketing, grouping the most popular books, frameworks and beliefs in different schools of thoughts or ‘brand religions’. So what is your brand religion and are you measuring brand success the right way?

Request your download

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