KEDGE Professor Louise Canning and her colleagues examine the types of behaviour manifested in Twitter activity, specifically the communication tasks for which tweets were used as well as the responses to those messages. Results show that broadly speaking, the tasks can be split into 3 categories: information sharing, problem solving and PR. The limited character content of Twitter messages mean that in performing these tasks, tweets invariably contain links to related content such as brochures, blogs, closed-groups, videos and company websites. In terms of audience interaction, our results show relatively low levels of interaction in response to Twitter messages themselves. However, follower engagement is higher as evidenced by the click-through rates to content via links included in tweets.
This is important for business marketing and communications managers. The restricted nature of a Twitter feed and the low response rate to those messages means that the business marketer should use embedded content to provide more in-depth information and to include multiple cues. This can enhance the richness of Twitter as a communication channel, but decisions on embedded media need to take account of information volume and content specificity so that followers receive sufficient information but without being overloaded.
Leek, S, Canning, L. Houghton, D. (2016) Revisiting the Task Media Fit Model in the era of Web 2.0: Twitter use and interaction in the healthcare sector. Industrial Marketing Management, 54: 25-32.