Is Tweeting For The Birds?
Is Tweeting For the Birds?
The characteristic blue sky background of the Twitter homepage seems to say “easy communications ahead.” And isn’t that the point of social media? Truth is that Twitter, like any of the other major social media outlets, can be an incredibly effective marketing tool, provided the user is savvy with the medium’s tools and etiquettes. Like a bird on a wire, the Twitter user must maintain focus and balance in his communications, remaining vigilant of the message he’s putting out into the public forum. Every Twitter experience is unique and depends on what the user makes of it. While well-contrived, value-added tweets can make you soar above the others, neglecting your Twitter image can surely and quickly come home to roost.
To Tweet or Not To Tweet? That Is the Question.
It’s impossible to take in the statistics on Twitter usage without realizing just how much impact this social media outlet could have on your bottom line. Here’s a few eye-opening Twitter facts and figures as put together by The Touch Agency (www.touchagency.com) :
- There are 200+ million registered Twitter users
- 5 PM is the best time to get retweeted
- There are 18,000 search queries every second, which is around 1.6 billion searches each day
- 70% of Twitter accounts are outside the US
- 75% of users are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow; 67% will recommend that brand
But, like any business decision, it is imperative to weigh the good and the bad to determine whether tweeting is worth your time and is in line with your company’s scope. Sure, traditional advertising is a safer, more familiar method of getting yourself out there but an ever-expanding social media landscape beckons fearless business leaders to step out of the comfort zone, initiate a more direct and transparent dialogue with their customers – all with the promise that the risk will definitely be rewarded with increased sales and fatter profit margins. In this instance, can we say the bird in the hand is NOT worth more than two in the bush? Here’s a few pros and cons to consider about Twitter:
- More simple, user-friendly interface than other popular social media sites
When you log-in for the first time, Twitter tells you that it takes less than 60 seconds to get started, and finding topics of interest is as easy as browsing through Twitter feeds.
- Quick and effective transmission of information
The 140-character limit per tweet has a purpose: quick, concise ideas presented in a straightforward manner minus all the game requests that inundate other social media outlets. Why 140 characters you ask? Because tweets were originally optimized for a texting platform.
- Opportunity to build and expand upon a circle of followers
This highly interactive platform helps you build mutually beneficial online relationships with those who have similar ideas and goals. Twitter relationships can cover many miles, bringing the global big picture into a more localized view.
- Ability to drive traffic to your website, blog, etc.
The use of #hashtags allows you to connect your tweets into much larger networks that are easily searchable to increase visibility.
- User-base is still smaller than some larger social media counterparts
Even with its popularity, Twitter is still considerably smaller than its Facebook counterpart.
- Inability to upload videos
Tweets must link in with videos on YouTube or other sites.
- Too much visibility can be detrimental
Ever heard that too much of a good thing can be bad? Sometimes the visibility of our tweets is not desirable – especially if we’ve gone on a rant, lost our cool or said something embarrassing.
Despite the advantages and disadvantages of the Twitter platform, any user could soon find their tweeting “for the birds” if not committed to molding their communications around some central best practices on the site. If you want to maximize the positive impact of your tweets, ask yourself these basic questions before you post:
- What is my focus?
Make your tweets short and relevant and have them add value to your followers. Wisely appointed hashtags will keep your content visible and in the loop with like-minded posts.
- Could this content negatively impact me or my business?
It’s always a good idea to avoid online rants, insults, innuendo or even heated political debates. One bad impression could tear down the following you’ve worked so hard to create.
- Is the relationship between me and my followers mutually beneficial?
Again, add value to your followers’ experience. Know your audience and craft your message accordingly. Use twitter as a forum in which to introduce people with similar interests.
- Are my tweets annoying my followers?
Extreme hashtag usage, automated tweeting, aggressive following and orphan links posted with no text – these are just a few ways Twitter users have reported being disgusted with those they follow. Remember to make your tweets easy, informative and enjoyable for your online peers.