Can Twitter Biographies help you understand your followers?

Just who exactly is following your Twitter account?

This is a challenge increasingly faced by many businesses. With Facebook you have demographic profiles because users have to provide much more information when they sign up.

With Twitter, the details required are simply First Name, Last Name and email address.

So, how can we understand who is following?

With any BirdSong report we provide an estimate of Male/Female followers, based on a lookup of their first name against our database of names and genders.

Coca Cola Twitter Demographics



This is a useful reference point but will never be 100% accurate. The lack of accuracy is impacted by language and by the lack of ‘real names’ people often use on Twitter. Unlike Google+, Twitter has no requirement to use a real name.

Another way to understand more about your followers is to analyse their biographies. At present, BirdSong provides details of followers, and with the export this can be interrogated further.

We started to look at biography analysis to see what we could learn. Here are the Twitter biographies of @TeamSky cycling team.

Team Sky Follower Profiles

As you would expect ‘cycling’ and ‘fan’ are prominent. The words Husband and Father are also quite prominent. To be honest we’re not sure where Demo and Cloud come into this.

So, not perfect yet, but we now know more than we did. These cycling fans are labelling themselves as husbands and fathers. That could be a useful insight.

Checking a sample of followers from @Netaporter is less clear – Fashion, as you would expect is prominent.

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We are currently running more analysis on other accounts and will update this article with new findings.

Biography analysis will be available in a later update of BirdSong. Meanwhile you can export Twitter followers to .csv for your own analysis today.


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