Next up in the line up for our series on social media platforms that are being embraced by businesses large and small is Twitter. This ‘micro-blogging’ service has grown exponentially over the past couple of years and is now widely used throughout the world by companies in virtually every industry.
Developed in 2006, Twitter originally was created to answer the simple question, “What are you doing” with an answer (a tweet) that was no longer than 140 characters. These tweets may be sent and received via the Internet, SMS, or through the use of external applications (such as Tweetdeck, Echofon, Hootsuite, etc). Since its inception, Twitter has morphed into much more than just a way to tell friends, family, and coworkers what you’re doing. It has become an extremely powerful marketing and communication platform for people all around the globe.
Twitter’s main operational goal is probably best summed up in this quote from Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter and CEO of the company:
“What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it’s not a social network, but it’s an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.”
Here are a few interesting statistics related to Twitter that we think will aid you in determining whether or not you want to “embrace all things Twitter” with your company:
- Twitter has approximately 75 million user accounts, but only about 15 million are active users on a regular basis.
- Currently, the average number of tweets per hour is around 1.3 million. At this rate, Twitter will process almost 10 billion tweets in a single year.
- There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%).
- 64% of Twitter’s users are aged 35 or older.
These are interesting and impressive statistics that should be factored into your choice as to whether or not your business will benefit from using Twitter. Much has been written on successes and failures on Twitter usage. During our research, we have found the following articles to be useful for business owners who are weighing the viability of Twitter for their company:
- 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business. In this article, Chris Brogan shares some great suggestions and asks some good questions of the reader. This is a great tool for developing a strategy for using Twitter to your company’s advantage.
- Guy Kawasaki’s Twitter Tips for Business. This is a short two minute video that offers up 3 insights for businesses using Twitter.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYT5AuLLPyg[/youtube] There is another good list from him entitled 10 Tips I Got from Guy Kawasaki at CES.
- 5 Ways Your Business isn’t Using Twitter Well. Are you using Twitter now but not seeing any noticeable return? This is a good article to help you examine things that you may be doing wrong and help you change your Twitter usage.
- 5 Ways Twitter Helps My Business. One business owner’s valuable feedback on how Twitter has been helpful.
- Dell Rings Up $6.5 Million in Sales Using Twitter. Yes, you can make money with Twitter!
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important to remember that social media involvement of any kind isn’t a way to immediately boost sales numbers. It takes time and effort on your part to engage with existing customers, potential customers, and people in general to gain their trust and see you as a reliable, interesting company with great products and valuable services. Twitter is a great platform and many people and companies have created unique ways to use it in advantageous ways. We hope that through this information and the external articles and video we’ve presented that you’ll be able to determine whether or not Twitter will be useful for your company.