Why Japanese follow you on Twitter


As a follow-up to last week’s look at why Japanese stop following people, this time it is the opposite question from goo Ranking, what characteristics of people makes one want to follow them on Twitter.


Over the 6th and 7th of June 2011 1,148 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.6% of the sample were male, 12.1% in their teens, 16.9% in their twenties, 28.0% in their thirties, 25.4% in their forties, 9.7% in their fifties, and 7.9% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

As my Twitter followed count is very low (I rarely read it myself!) I think just about everyone falls under the same hobbies classification, namely running a Japan blog.

By the way, I’ve been playing around with Google’s new social network Google+ (drop me a line if you want an invite!), and I suspect it might have more of an effect on Twitter than Facebook; I’ve never worked out how in Twitter to follow a conversation; everything seems just one way to me.

Ranking result

Q: What characteristics make you want to start following someone on Twitter? (Sample size=1,148)

Rank   Score
1 Same hobbies as me 100
2 Cheers me up 94.9
3 Uses rich expressions 94.1
4 Has latest detailed information in fields I’m interested in 90.9
5 Elegant use of words 82.7
6 Has a similar way of thinking to me 71.7
7 Is a famous person I like 68.9
8 Healing 64.6
9 Usually modest 62.6
10 Has a clever way with words 60.2
11 Never tweets anything negative 57.5
12 Freely displays his wisdom 52.8
13 Has entertaining individualistic tone 49.2
14 Clearly indicates their information source for tweets 35.4
15 Clearly expresses their own opinion even when dealing with famous people 31.5
16 From the same industry, school, hometown as me 31.1
17 Replies to people without displaying favouritism 26.0
18 Makes lots of tweets that should be preserved for posterity 24.0
19 I like their icon photo 19.7
20 Has lots of famous people followers 14.6
21 Retweets a lot 10.6
22 Has a similar family situation to mine 9.4
23 Frequently arguing with people 7.5
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1 Comment »

  1. July 17, 2011 @ 17:36

    Hi Ken. Thanks for sharing these findings. With Twitters growth in the Japanese market it’s always interesting to learn about what makes these users ‘tick’. Do you have any information on what their opinion of brands on twitter are? Do they follow brands and if so, why? Thanks again for the article. Keep up the great work!

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  1. September 3, 2011 @ 14:54

    […] Why Japanese follow you on Twitter – I’d like to see this kind of survey for other countries. Regardless, the top 5 reasons among 1000+ respondents are (in order of biggest reason): The tweeter has similar hobbies, cheers the follower up, uses rich expressions, has the latest info on topics that interest the follower, and uses words elegantly. In contrast, Japanese people generally stop following people for the tweeter using excessive aggression, “shifty tweets” (not sure what that means), drama-queen-like tweets, soliciting membership to something the follower is already affiliated with, and excessive sexual references. […]