Short and sweet is what Twitter is all about.
Keeping it simple and engaging has made Twitter an efficient platform to keep users informed and connected to other users.
Twitter is a micro-blogging system — or messaging system — that permits users to post a message of only 140 characters at the time. The concept of Twitter started in 2006, and the goal was to create a web-based platform that would imitate SMS messages or send real-time posts, where a group of people would be able to follow. The intention was to keep other people in the group updated on what was going on for users. This concept remains today except that Twitter has become the second most used social media channel.
After complaints from the audience, Twitter decided to increase the number of characters limit to 280. This way, people would spend less time trying to squeeze their thoughts to fit the message and more time talking to each other (Macarthur, n.d.).
The Twitter Audience
As of 2017, there are 330 million users on the Twitter platform with 36 percent of users being users from 18-29 years old, making this platform millennials predominant. Another interesting fact is that the users on this platform, in general, have a higher education level and a homogeneous mix of genders. The Twitter audience looks for information, from news to customer service from companies and even last minute promotions (Hootsuite, 2018).
When it comes to features, Twitter has adapted and grown with its audience’s needs. It is a global platform that has allowed real-time information to be passed faster than any other technology available, hence, becoming an essential tool for any company. The Twitter platform supports over 40 languages, making communications a natural process for its users.
Twitter also supports hashtags that allow users connect their content to a more prominent pool of messages that are related to one subject. Twitter also allows users to create lists that can group their following list into categories. Images and videos are now also supported by the channel making content more engaging, and users have access to a simple analytics tool that allows users to view their posts’ engagements. However, the most expected feature is live video which is set to be released in 2018 (Hootsuite, 2018).
Twitter for Businesses
Like the majority of social media channels, Twitter offers profile for companies. According to Jason McDonald (2018), Twitter is an excellent channel for businesses. It is an ideal channel for customer services because it can help companies to respond quickly to customers concerns and feedback. It also allows enterprises to amplify their messages and drive traffic to their website.
The Good and Bad on Twitter
Engagement on Twitter is increasing every year, and Twitter ads are still very affordable with a robust analytics tool available. However, businesses can also promote their brand and get their exposure increase immensely. Some best practices for businesses to keep in mind when using Twitter are:
- Twitter is a great listening tool for companies and companies can find out a lot about their audiences in this channel.
- Twitter can be noisy; it is important to keep messages relevant and not to overwhelm users with too many messages.
- Twitter is very cultural; companies should be aware of cultural and social differences.
- Companies should always make sure the hashtags being used are related to the subject and are not trending on other issues that may affect the overall goal of the company.
- Once a company starts being active on Twitter, monitoring for mentions is crucial to stay aware.
- Responses to feedback from users ( positive or negative) should be made in as little time as possible.
- Companies should keep their messages engaging with open-end questions and content that is helpful and informative within the companies industry.
The Overall Benefits
Finally, Twitter has proven to be an excellent platform for companies to connect their brands with their audiences by staying relevant and useful to its followers. Like all other social media channels, Twitter is more about connection and branding that it is for pushing sales. Branding and amplifying a voice is what should be the focal point for all companies that want to be successful with their Twitter marketing strategy.
Macarthur, Amanda. (n.d.). The History of Twitter You Didn’t Know. Lifewire.
Hootsuite (Jan. 17, 2018.). 28 Twitter Statistics All Marketers Need to Know in 2018. Hootsuite Social Media Management.
McDonald, Jason. (2018.). Social Media Marketing – Workbook 2018. JM Internet Group. Kindle Edition.