Chief marketing officers are always looking around for trends to exploit for brand campaigns. According to Twitter Canada, the best place to look is on its platform, where trends are evident from the increase in conversations on topics and their related hashtags.
For example, conversations about immersive retail, which includes what unique things stores are doing to bring in customers — for example, parka manufacturer Canada Goose building “cold rooms” in stores so shoppers can really try out their gear –are up 367 per cent.
These and other numbers have been pulled out of a study of tweets between 2016 and 2019, Twitter Canada officials told reporters in Toronto on Wednesday. Billed as an information session to predict what issues will be trending this year on the social media platform, it was also an attempt to show that Twitter is important in identifying culture shifts and therefore a platform marketers should pay attention to.
So Michelle Slater, the Canadian division’s head of business marketing, said that “we look at Twitter as the conversational layer of the internet … These trends are truely shaping culture in Canada, and around the world.”
In addition to lots of talk about immersive retail — what some call ‘retail-tainment’ — the study found these other sharp increases in conversations on the platform:
- a 360 per cent increase in conversations related to artificial intelligence and the arts, including new artists and the use of new technologies for art (music, drawing, film). On illustration art there’s been a 10,000 per cent increase in chatter and hashtags, discussing everything from fantasy to anime. That includes the poster who wondered ‘Anyone have any ideas how to get prince harry to come to my art show?’
- a 262 per cent increase in postings related to video creation, including content from supposed up and coming video makers, vloggers and even A-list celebrities promoting their own vlogs
- a 736 per cent increase in talk about podcasts, including people promoting their own podcasts
Other things that are big are fan armies (people who are enthusiastic about artists or athletes who compete to earn their hero’s top spots in award shows); fan tourism (people who travel to places where historical or fantasy TV shows and films are made); and LARPing (short for Live Action Role Players, who are people who dress in costumes related to their favourite TV or film characters).
All of this begs the question of what business leaders would get out of the survey?
“It depends on the industry,” Slater said in an interview. “In the automotive sector the information about how people [on Twitter] are embracing technology in a different way would potentially help drive product innovation, and even how they go to market with how they’re talking about the future of mobility.
“If it’s around financial services, it may be a little different – thinking about how they could have creators help influence the conversation about how they’re going to market. I think there are snippets in each of the segments we presented that would have impact to help either drive marketing campaigns, product innovation or how they’re speaking to consumers overall.