State of the Industry: Influencer Marketing on Twitter

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall and overhear dozens – maybe even thousands – of conversations at once? We decided to eavesdrop on the discussions surrounding some of the most popular terms in the digital PR industry to find out what top influencers have to say about hot topics. This glimpse of influencer marketing on Twitter gives us an idea of the current state of the industry and where it may be headed.

BuzzStream and Fractl joined forces and utilized Peer Index, Twitonomy, and the Alchemy API to analyze nearly 5,000 tweets and learn more about these hashtags and keywords:

  • Media Relations
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Digital PR
  • Outbound Marketing
  • Brand Recognition
  • Earned Media
  • PR
  • Public Relations
  • Publicity
  • Press Release

From this study we found the tweet types, sentiments, and key influencers in the marketing discussion on Twitter. You can download our raw data to dive deep into the findings or read on for our key takeaways.

Takeaways: Influencer Marketing on Twitter

What are people tweeting about the most?

  • Tips dominate top influencer marketing hashtags. 31% of the tweets we scraped included links or suggestions for how to improve efficiency or efficacy in the digital PR field.
  • Trends are more popular with three hashtags: #outboundmarketing, #earnedmedia, and #pressrelease.
    • #outboundmarketing accounted for slightly less than 1% of the tweets in this study, but the majority of trends associated with this hashtag compared the methods and outcomes of inbound and outbound marketing practices. The educational nature of this trending conversation may mean that more authoritative material on these marketing approaches would be welcome.
    • Although #earnedmedia also earned a comparatively low percentage of tweets (less than 1% of the total), the trend content may be an indication that this hashtag or term is on the rise. A trend link shared in one tweet, Why PR is Embracing the PESO Model, has earned 2.5K social shares and is rising as of this writing.
    • Trends associated with the hashtag #pressrelease (which accounted for 22% of tweets in this study) were primarily related to the content of a press release rather than to trends in press release usage. We saw that #pressrelease was associated with trends in economics, entertainment, fashion, and more audience-facing content far more frequently than with trends in PR services or theory.

The sentiment of digital PR tweets

  • Influencer marketing tweets are predominantly positive. Considering that tweets that are helpful or insightful make up 50% of the posts from marketing influencers, it is perhaps unsurprising that Alchemy API rated the majority of the messages (72%) as having a positive sentiment. This finding does buck the trend of Twitter being one of the most neutral platforms in terms of sentiment. We suspect this is because our sample group consisted of professionals and brands much like the core audience of LinkedIn, one of the most positive platforms.
  • #pressrelease tweets are more neutral. The only term that ranked more neutral than positive was #pressrelease. This is again likely related to the usage of the hashtag in conjunction with news announcements rather than industry-related conversations.

Trends in marketing influencer identities

  • Brands have clinched the most social authority in influencer marketing. 52% of the top influencers in this study were brands rather than individuals. When we analyzed the top 10 influencers for each term, we found that brands dominated the conversation for six terms in particular:
    • Public Relations (80% brands)
    • Media Relations (70% brands)
    • Brand Recognition (60% brands)
    • Press Release (60% brands)
    • Publicity (50% brands)
    • Outbound Marketing (50% brands)
  • Of the percent that aren’t brands, people in high-level positions are the next most influential group on Twitter. The individuals who are most influential in marketing discussions are most frequently Directors, Consultants, and C-Suite Executives. This group accounts for 41% of the individuals in our study, an insight that underscores the professionalism of the digital conversation in the PR industry.
  • 7% of influencers are people and brands who use PR services, not service providers or industry thought leaders. Of the key influencers we identified, a handful rose to the top because of their references to using PR or publicity services. These were primarily actors, musicians, and others in the entertainment industry.

Learn more from conversation in influencer marketing by downloading the raw data from this study (for free) at