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10 Reasons Why People Engage with Brands on Twitter

Today, many marketers, brands and celebrities are using Twitter to engage with their customers, prospects and fans. Yet while some of them have already experienced tremendous success in this arena, others still haven’t found the sweet spot that lies between self-promotion and making real-time, meaningful connections with their followers in this channel.

The fact is that there countless reasons why people follow — and engage with — accounts other than their friends’ and colleagues’ on Twitter. In this survey of more than 1,000 consumers in Australia, more than half were interested in discounts or offers and exactly one third were looking for specific product and service information directly from the brand.

Those are two good reasons for brands to have an active presence on Twitter. After all, followers are sometimes customers, prospects and constituents. But followers are also human beings. Having been active on Twitter for over five years, I’ve seen a ton of interactivity there, enough to be able to draw some conclusions about why people engage with brands via messages of 140 characters or less…

10 Reasons Why People Engage with Brands on Twitter

  1. For Special Offers and Deals. Everybody feels good about saving money or getting something on Twitter they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
  2. For Customer Service. Today, more and more consumers are turning to Twitter to ask questions about products and services.
  3. For Casual Chat and Banal Banter. People like to talk, especially to those who they might not be able to engage with otherwise, such as big brand names and celebrities.
  4. For News and Information. Twitter is known for providing real-time updates on what’s happening here, there and everywhere. Take advantage of this fact.
  5. For Entertainment and Enjoyment. Some people on Twitter are looking for a diversion, a break from their routines. They’re there to be amused.
  6. To Support and Patronize. The majority of your followers are loyal, passionate consumers and customers, people who couldn’t be happier to see you on Twitter. Welcome their company.
  7. To Listen and Learn. What can you say to your followers that will help improve their lives? They’re all ears.
  8. To Share and Socialize. If you’re doing Twitter the right way, you’re actually engaging with your followers, learning as much from them as they are from you.
  9. To Complain and Criticize. People like to vent on Twitter. Let them. Provide a forum for their feedback and turn critics into fans.
  10. To Admire and Adore. Your followers may think the world of you and you don’t even know it. Entertain them. Indulge them. Interact with them. They’ll appreciate the attention.


While many brands are still struggling to find their way around Twitter, there are plenty that already “get it” and understand why they’re followed so closely by others. They’ve learned for themselves through trial-and-error what motivates, inspires and delights their customers, prospects, fans and followers in this channel. Their tweets are terrific. Check out “The Top 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter Today,” for example, which calls attention to some fairly well-known brands that are rocking it on Twitter.

Finally, here are three great examples of brands highly engaged with Boston SEO (two big businesses and a television news reporter) on Twitter (my corner of the world) that I’ve taken note of lately…

Boston Red Sox

Dunkin’ Donuts

Susan Tran

What about you? Why do you follow — and engage with — brands on Twitter. Why do others follow you? Is your list of reasons consistent with mine? Let me know what you think about this topic by leaving a comment here on this blog.

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