Although Twitter is extremely popular with the very large brands, we are still hearing clients say they do not see the value of this particular social media platform. We are often asked whether Twitter is as effective for marketing commercial enterprises as we are all led to believe.
Well, you may be surprised by the answer we are about to give, but we think the answer is no. But let us qualify this first, by explaining what Twitter is really good for.
Twitter is an instant messenger of short messages that can be posted and responded to, in real time.
The art of using Twitter well is the art of knowing how to communicate in just a short amount of characters. Hashtags and links need to be used effectively too. Twitter is not a highly image driven site and so it does not lend itself to video, sound or photography, although all of this can be posted and shared on Twitter.
We believe that thousands of businesses fail to benefit from Twitter because it is so tuned in to well-known brands, popular names, and leading celebrities. The average business will have a few hundred followers, and they may receive a retweet or two occasionally, but if you look at the huge accounts, they are invariably massive global brands, and huge international celebrities, that are known and followed by millions around the world.
When was the last time you heard of a company succeeding just as a result of being found on Twitter? It happens rarely, and the reason for this is that it is so huge. It is very hard for the small businesses to be heard amongst the chatter of the louder, bigger boys in the playground.
In addition, Twitter users are becoming increasingly cynical towards blatant marketing via the network. And now that Twitter is offering promoted, monetized posts, this feeling of anti-advertising is growing.
We are not saying don’t have a Twitter account. What we are saying is gauge your levels of activity and investment in terms of time and money, according to what you really can achieve. It is possible to gather a huge following on Twitter, but only if you put in the time to develop it, and it does take a significant amount of time, unless your name is Justin Bieber of course.
Twitter is best used by small companies as a way of sharing information, finding out what is being talked about and what is popular, and it is brilliant as a way of staying bang up to date with news and developments online. For that reason alone, we should all have it.
But should small businesses openly market themselves on it? They should, but only if they want to, and have the time, and money to do it.