Does Twitter tell you what to buy?

A fresh new study about how consumers use Twitter to talk about brands is being published in an upcoming issue of "The Journal of American Society for Information Science and Technology," shedding some light on how many people are Tweeting about brands and what they're saying.

The study done at Penn State by Jim Jansen, Mimi Zhang, Kate Sobel and Twitter chief scientist Abdur Chowdhury shows that of the half a million Tweets analyzed in a 13-week period, 19% talked about a brand of some manner and of these brand mentioning tweets 1 in 5 tweets contained an expression of brand sentiment.



The research noted that, "although the positive tweets represented the largest quantity, there were a substantial percentage of negative tweets. Prior research in the impression formulation literature has shown that negative comments have a greater impact than positive ones." This re-enforces the popular anecdote that an angry customer has a greater affect on a company than a positive one.