For the last several years, tech and business reporters have been predicting the imminent demise of Twitter. Yet, it’s still here and it’s still one of the handful of social icons you’ll find adorning websites and marketing collateral.
Someone recently asked if Twitter is still relevant. Is there still value in being on Twitter? Our perspective: yes.
While the 10-year-old micro-blogging platform is dealing with some highly public issues (a not-yet effective approach to putting a stop to harassment and sluggish growth among them) and acquisition rumors have been swirling, we believe that for many brands, there are strong arguments for sticking with the platform.
- While my 90-year-old Grandmother is on Facebook, others aren’t. Twitter’s 313 million regular monthly users may fall well short of Facebook, but this number is nothing to scoff at. Many avid Twitter users who swear by the platform will be much harder to reach through other channels, especially as consumers spend more time in apps and less time surfing the web. Additionally, Twitter is built around the interest graph, where users follow other people and brands that align with their interests, as opposed to Facebook’s structure, which is focused around the social graph, where users tend to connect with people they know. The result: Twitter users are connecting with a wider, and different, set of people and brands.
- Twitter remains a key part of multi-channel marketing campaigns. Consumers are all over the place when it comes to where they spend their time and how they consume media and messages. The saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” easily applies to marketing channels. Twitter remains a fundamental piece of many integrated marketing campaigns as it provides yet another opportunity to reach your target audience with the messages you want to deliver.
- Nearly 63% of Twitter users cite the platform as a major source of news. If sharing newsworthy stories and information is key to your brand, Twitter is a must-have. With Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, further prioritizing family and friends, Twitter has become an even more obvious choice for reaching a wide audience with high quality news and information.
- Twitter users love to spend money. As reported by Social Times, 52 percent of Twitter users have bought a product they first learned of on Twitter, while 81 percent rate Twitter over TV in terms of its impact on purchase decisions. Twitter’s own research finds that 64% of users influence the purchases of friends and family. This is not insignificant if you are a consumer goods brand.
- Twitter offers real-time, person-to-brand communication at its best. Twitter revolutionized the personal connection consumers have with brands. Customer service has shifted from call centers to social media, with Twitter at the forefront of that revolution. Beyond this, consumers feel a stronger connection to brands they follow on Twitter, often building a sense of community and loyalty. With 82 percent of users actively engaging with brands on the platform, brands must make a commitment to, and investment in, consistently responding to questions and comments, and creating and sharing quality content that is engaging, informative and that consumers care about – not simply one-sided marketing messages.
- The evolution continues. Twitter has been introducing significant changes in order to be more welcoming and user-friendly. The biggest complaint about the platform since its origins as a SMS-based service has been that it’s too confusing. Twitter is evolving to create a more open and welcoming environment: non-users can access content without logging in, changes to character counts offers more space in each Tweet, and the new live streaming partnership with the NFL kicked-off to resounding approvals from consumers and industry watchers.
It is clear that there is not one social media platform that is able to reach every consumer. While Twitter is still pushing to evolve, it remains an excellent platform for many brands to reach their target audiences, build brand loyalists, and share their stories.
Sources: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/18/5-facts-about-twitter-at-age-10/ | http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/why-marketers-should-use-twitter-infographic/643628 | http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/infographic-latest-twitter-study-sheds-light-just-how-well-video-doing-173661