How Do We Express Our Emotions Online?
By Sabrina DorronsoroMar 13
Published July 6th 2017
It’s a tail as old as time.
Cat people and dog people have always been at war. In fact, the vicious feud is something we’ve covered before on the Brandwatch blog. But is it all nonsense?
After all, and as our adorable header image proves, dogs and cats are more than capable of getting over their differences. Well, dogs can. The cat looks slightly less relaxed about the whole thing.
Using Brandwatch Audiences, we decided to compare those who described themselves as cat lovers and dog lovers in their Twitter bios. These are people whose love for their dogs and cats are central to their outward identity. We studied 18,287 cat lovers and 25,003 dog lovers who displayed terms like “love cats”, “love my cat,” “love my puppy” etc. under their profile picture.
For context, looking at mentions of cat and dog related hashtags on the platform as well as the number of dog vs cat lovers as referenced in bios, we think that Twitter prefers dogs.
If someone describes themselves as a dog person, you might start to make assumptions about other aspects of their personality. Their dedication to their friends and family, perhaps. Maybe their interest in sport and fitness.
When we compared the dog lovers with cat lovers in Audiences, we were amused to find many of these stereotypes coming through in the data.
For example, dog lovers appeared more interested in family and friends than cat lovers, who are well below average here. Cat lovers also preferred more individual pursuits like books, fine arts, and photo and video.
Both, of course, were interested in animals and pets.
The differences extended to professions too.
Creative-types tend to be cat people (in fact, they love cats more than any other profession), while executives prefer dogs.
We were interested to see that students mention their love of cats more than dogs, but also that their group is over-represented here. Perhaps this is actually down to young people being a little more disposed to talking about their pets online.
You might not expect the CEO of a company to include their love of dogs next to their other esteemed accolades.
Those in scientific or technical jobs like researchers or IT professionals tended to prefer cats, too.
Meanwhile, teachers, sports people, sales people and healthcare practitioners preferred dogs.
We also noticed that people who discussed loving cats or dogs in their bios tended to be female.
Females tended to prefer cats and males tended to prefer dogs.
Despite all these differences, there were a significant number of each group that also talked about the other. (For example, some people claimed “I love my dogs and cats” or had “I love cats” in their bio and then discussed dogs in their tweets).
We took a look at the number of cat lovers who followed the top three most influential “cute dog picture”-type accounts. Just under 1% of them did. Looking at it the other way around, just under 3% of the dog lovers also followed the top three most influential cute cat pictures accounts.
While these might seem quite low, we were only looking at three influential cat and dog accounts, not every cat or dog picture distribution account or adoption facility in the world. They’re enough to show that the categories “dog person” and “cat person”, contrary to popular opinion, are not mutually exclusive.
They might also suggest that people who prefer dogs are more predisposed to liking cats, while primary cat-lovers aren’t so willing to accept dogs so readily.
If you’d like to view these accounts for yourself, for research purposes, you can find them here:
So comparing dog cat lovers and cat lovers might not sound like the most valuable use of your time (unless, perhaps, you run a pet store or a pound).
However, the analysis we’ve done here goes some way to show how insightful audience comparisons can be. Brandwatch Audiences can help you find out how your own following compares to those of your competitors and the different ways they are made up. This data can help you target different groups, tweak your campaigns and discover new audiences and what they’re into.
If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch by booking a demo.
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