The Conversation: Exploring identity on Twitter


Learn how people think and talk about themselves and build a better, more inclusive timeline.

Getting closer to conversations is what we’re all about. More than ever, people are speaking up and speaking out about their identities, and it's important for marketers to listen carefully to those conversations. Consumers today expect brands to respect, and reflect, the diversity of their lived experiences.

That's why we created #TwitterPrism, a program designed to help brands create more inclusive marketing strategies, and drive investment to historically excluded communities through media investment. And to learn more, we partnered with OMG Research to dive deeper into the conversations related to identity happening on Twitter.

Here's what we found — plus some ideas on how brands can learn from, and find their place in, the conversation.

Understanding identity starts with understanding its elements

Although identity can be talked about in many ways, when we dug into the conversations that connect people, we noticed five key themes that regularly came up. These themes highlight the diverse voices and perspectives we find on Twitter, and by listening to these different groups, you can gain a better understanding of how people think and talk about themselves.

People communicate their values and needs when they Tweet about their identity

On Twitter, the keywords unique to conversations about identity highlight that people are sharing their personal choices and values, along with a desire for respect and equality.

And people choose brands that help them express who they are

According to our study, people surveyed tend to agree that brands help them communicate who they are in different ways. Personal attire and lifestyle choices are among the key ways that people express identity, so when brands demonstrate what they stand for, people are more likely to show support.

People want to know where brands stand on social issues, when the time is right

As social issues are brought up on Twitter, people appreciate brands with a real point of view that they can identify with and stand behind. When the time is right, lend your voice to the issues that matter to your fans, and they’ll respect you more for it.

Don’t sit on the sidelines: people want to see brands address serious issues

Passionate discussion and debate are part of the territory of social issues on Twitter, and brands shouldn’t stay away. When it comes to serious matters, such as racial justice, gender equality, and climate change, people on Twitter not only welcome brands into these conversations but expect them to speak up on behalf of their followers and others who share their values.

Brands can empower the personal identity conversation on Twitter. Tap in

We’ve been listening to people talk about identity to learn how we can amplify these conversations with authenticity and empathy. With these insights, we can better understand the topics that matter to your fans, and together we can create a more equal and inclusive timeline. 

Our research helps further the goals of #TwitterPrism — a commitment to helping marketers create more inclusive marketing strategies for diverse and historically excluded communities, and drive investment to those communities through media.