Most Twitter users (77%) have interacted with a promoted tweet in some way. The largest number, 56%, say they have noticed a promoted tweet, topic or account. Fifteen percent have clicked on a promoted tweet, 8% on a tweet under a promoted hashtag. Almost as many, 7%, have followed a promoted account and 6% have retweeted, replied or favorited a sponsored tweet. In addition, 4% have tweeted using a promoted hashtag.
The reasons for these interactions were also interesting. A third of those have interacted with a promoted tweet in some way (31%) said they had this interaction because the brand “provides something of value to me.” A quarter (25%) said they interacted with the promoted tweet or account because they knew the brand. A somewhat smaller number (15%) said they interacted or recalled the promoted account because it connected to something their “timeline is talking about.”
Beyond noticing or interacting with a promoted tweet, Twitter users can take another step by interacting with a company itself on Twitter. Fully half of Twitter users (53%) said they had done this.
The largest number 32%, said they had followed a brand account. Almost a quarter, 24%, said they had used a hashtag relating to a brand or ad campaign and 21% had replied to a brand or advertiser on Twitter, while 21% had favorited a tweet by a brand or advertiser. Almost as many, 19%, had retweeted or passed along information in tweets from a brand and 18% had taken part in a competition of some kind set up by a brand on Twitter.
The survey also asked people how they encounter advertising on Twitter. It came from a variety of means, with no single one standing out. The most common (40%) was hearing about it from people they follow and the same number (39%) from a TV station broadcast. Almost as many (35%) said they discovered a brand’s tweets by hearing about them on TV commercials and (33%) from online news sites. Almost as many said they discovered them during live events such as sports (30%), from blogs (26%) and from newspapers (23%).