A network view of passion communities on Twitter

“Passion areas are not monolithic audiences, rather they are articulated in a dense network of well-defined sub-communities.”

Understanding audiences and people is key to what we do here at Pulsar, and to our clients.

And it’s just as important to social media users – people define themselves by what they’re interested in, and use social media to re-enforce these definitions daily. For brands and agencies to get a clear message across to these individuals, it’s important to know what hooks them about these interests.

Working with Twitter, we randomly sampled and analysed 800,000 Twitter users globally to understand the demographic traits and interests of eight major passion networks: Fashion, Technology, Politics, TV & Film, Fitness, Music, Food and Sports.

The analysis clearly shows that the sub-communities emerging in each passion area tend to cluster around either geographic, ethnic or interest affinities, sometimes a mix of all three.

We have put together a whitepaper on this research and will be starting a series of blog articles based on this research, each time diving into a different community. Using the Twitter Graph API means we can tap into the following/follower relationship in Twitter’s Social Graph, which maps these cultural affinities clearly and delivers a granular ready-to-use audience segmentation.

For brands and agencies, understanding these sub-communities around their passion which they talk about we can prove that a single message aimed at targeting the generic audience of a passion area won’t spread across the entire audience because the audience is fragmented and the message will only be relevant to a portion of that audience.

We will demonstrate when it comes to strategy, developing creative that is tailored to the key sub-communities of a passion area rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach is best.

Lastly, we’ll give examples of how brands are currently creating micro-targets based on a cultural profile of the select sub-community in order to increase relevance and engagement.


Download White Paper


Let’s delve into some of our findings:

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A diverse audience fragmented in a large number of small national and international communities congregating around global influencers, cultural scenes and professional hubs.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 12.42.56 Technology
A very homogenous audience, extremely interconnected and clustered into a small number of large global or city-level communities showing a consistent overlap of interests and passions.
3a Politics
A very homogenous audience sharing common interests and passions, well interconnected in a small number of large national and international communities brought together by national and global influencers.
 4a TV & Film
A diverse audience showing a wide range of interests and passions, not well connected but less fragmented than expected. Unlike other diverse audiences, the TV & Film one tend to congregate in global communities built around genre affiliations and global influencers.
 5a Fitness
A fairly homogenous audience sharing a similar set of passions (sports, health, food, lifestyle) but fragmented in many small communities congregating around local influencers.
 6a Music
A very diverse audience, extremely fragmented in many small communities showing almost no overlap of interests and passions. This audience comes together around music genres, music scenes and niche influencers but has a global footprint.
7a Food
A very diverse audience rooted in local scenes (city-level) resulting in the most fragmented passion area, featuring the smallest communities which tend to cluster around geography and ethnicity.
8a Sports
Diverse audience but very interconnected into a small number of very large communities. The communities form around specific sports, sports personalities and sport-specific media outlets, tend to have a national profile (rather than global) and are very insular (no crossover between sports communities).


In the full whitepaper, we’ve delved into each of these passion communities, to find out what their main sub-communities are: what kind of traits they may have, how fragmented each community is and how brands could utilise this data to create content and creative to successfully resonate with each sub-community.

We will be publishing a monthly blog post on these findings, to offer insights into how to produce relevant marketing in sync with the moments, the behaviours and the affinities of these audiences. Tune in back here as we delve into this passion network and the sub-communities involved.

Download the full whitepaper here

Where next?

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