Why Twitter Matters To Marketers Now More Than Ever

steve olenski
Steve Olenski Sr Creative Content Strategist , Oracle Responsys

Posted on August 27th 2011

Why Twitter Matters To Marketers Now More Than Ever

A recent report on Twitter users and a recent development re: Twitter's functionality should make every marketer sit up and take notice of Twitter, if they haven't already that is.

Remember when Twitter was first launched and people were mocking the name itself and the word “tweet?” I can vividly recall many in the public eye and “regular” folks as well openly making light of this new social network and often times predicting its demise before it even had a chance to get off the ground.

I can absolutely recall with much clarity sitting in meetings across from marketers lamenting the fact that they didn’t see any value in Twitter because they “didn’t care what people had for breakfast.”

Remember those comments about Twitter? I surely do…

I wonder how many of those same marketers are still lamenting the same concerns. If there are marketers out there who still think Twitter is a waste of time, you may want to a) look for a new line of work or b) consider the findings of a new report from Exact Target called “Twitter X-Factors” in which they identify five factors which make Twitter, well Twitter. Image

Factor #1 – Influential Behaviors

  • 73% of Twitter users say they want to gain a large following BUT not for the sake of gaining a large following; in other words, they are VERY selective about whom they follow and want as followers
  • Extended reach… 12% of online consumers have created a profile in order to participate on Twitter, another 11% say they read other people’s Tweets even though they haven’t created a Twitter account of their own.

Factor #2 – Size Matters

  • With its 140-character limit, Twitter allows for brevity of the highest regard; eliminating any and all distractions
  • Twitter also forces users—marketers and consumers alike—to immediately get to the point. To summarize in 140 characters or less, brevity is the key to mastering Twitter.
  • This is akin to what I wrote not long ago How ADD And ADHD Affects Marketing

Factor #3 – Instant Access

  • Twitter provides real time, instant access to celebrities, breaking news, events and actual corporations – including high-ranking officials with said corporation
  • Name another social network that does this; save your breath, there is none

Factor #4 – Interactivity

  • Consumers are much more likely to FOLLOW brands on Twitter in order to interact than they are to become email SUBSCRIBERS or Facebook FANS
  • People want to interact with your brand on a real time basis; to get to know the personalities behind a company. For example, if a B2B company is deciding whether or not to purchase from a supplier, Twitter is useful in helping them get a behind-the-scenes look at who runs the company. Yes B2B Marketers, Even Though It's Called B2B, There's Still A "C" On The Other End

Factor #5 – Mobile, Agile & Versatile

  • Versatility is without question a key component to ANY social network but, as the report astutely points out… “there’s no universal reason why consumers choose to engage with marketers like you on Twitter. As a result, Twitter usage is versatile and ever-changing, depending on your target audience and their personal motivations.”
  • And because it is so versatile and because every consumer is different some marketers can feel overwhelmed; but marketers need to look at this as a challenge, as a way to get creative and find new ways to tap into the insights of your consumers via Twitter.

Overall, Exact Target describes daily Twitter users as “voracious online consumers and contributors” who…

  • 72% publish blog posts at least once a month
  • 70% comment on others’ blog posts
  • 61% write at least one product review a month
  • 61% comment on news sites
  • 56% write articles for third-party sites
  • 53% post videos online
  • 50% make contributions to wiki sites
  • 48% share deals found through coupon forums

Now, of course, Twitter is not for every one nor for every marketer. I don’t think anyone is saying that and if anyone does tell you that, my advice is to consider the source and/or run screaming into the night.

Ok, maybe not screaming but seriously question their knowledge because Twitter, like every thing else in life short of breathing and paying taxes, is not for everyone.

BUT… it clearly is for many.

Your job as a marketer is to find them and/or work with an agency to help you find these Twitterers, as it were… These folks are highly influential and they want to interact with you; they want to become brand ambassadors in many cases… so let them!

Are you a marketer who currently uses Twitter for your clients?

How successful has Twitter been for you and your clients?

Are you still not convinced of the power of Twitter? Still unsure because of the inability to track traffic coming via Twitter?

Well have I got news for you…

The recent development I mentioned earlier has to do with the fact now, thanks to Twitter’s new “t.co” domains, analytics tools will now categorize all traffic from both Twitter.com and all Twitter clients as traffic coming from Twitter. Whereas before it would be divided amongst all the various twitter clients (usually just as “direct traffic”) and specific pages on Twitter.com – never directly from the tweet.

This, according to the post on The Next Web

For brands and businesses that have yet to see the true value of Twitter, expect to be impressed. Twitter just stepped up and demanded to be noticed. If you weren’t convinced of the physical traffic Twitter drives, you should definitely notice it now.

Ok, Mr. and Mrs. Marketer who still don’t see the value in Twitter… now what do you have to say for yourself?

 

Sources: ExactTarget, TheNextWeb, Google Images, Why Twitter Matters To Marketers Now More Than Ever, The Star Group 

steve olenski

Steve Olenski

Sr Creative Content Strategist , Oracle Responsys

A regular contributor to Forbes, among other publications, Steve was named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred. He is currently a senior creative content strategist at Oracle Marketing Cloud. He is a also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing and co-author of the book StumbleUpon For Dummies. Follow him on Twitter@steveolenski or at the nearest coffee shop.The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle Marketing Cloud.

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Comments

Posted on August 27th 2011 at 6:19PM

I remember being totally confused by Twitter when friends talked about it. My niece warned me off it, saying, "Who cares what people ate?" I still don't care what people ate, but I have found lots of fun people and have made some great business connections. And marketers - I do like the interaction, whether I'm frustrated by something or have a question. So feel free to buy me breakfast, but I won't list the menu on my tweets!

HotBlogTips
Posted on August 28th 2011 at 4:22PM

 

I've known Twitter has it going on for a long time but I assumed the reason they were lagging behind Facebook was because they didn't appeal to the younger generation. This may be true but with the Exact Target stats you shared, for many of us, Twitter offers the perfect target market.
For someone selling video games or candy bars, Twitter might not offer a significant source of quality traffic. For bloggers, in a very general sense, Twitter is a golden opportunity. I am very excited to see those stats like over 70% are bloggers. Very informative article, I appreciate it.

Hi Steve, I've known Twitter has it going on for a long time but I assumed the reason they were lagging behind Facebook was because they didn't appeal to the younger generation. This may be true but with the Exact Target stats you shared, for many of us, Twitter offers the perfect target market.


For someone selling video games or candy bars, Twitter might not offer a significant source of quality traffic. For bloggers, in a very general sense, Twitter is a golden opportunity. I am very excited to see those stats like over 70% are bloggers. Very informative article, I appreciate it. I just followed you on Twitter, it sounds like I can learn a lot from you.

 

ScifiAliens
Posted on September 2nd 2011 at 12:23AM

Twitter is a great way to connect with those who share your interests. From defining your own profile to the use of hash tags (#, aka the number sign,) you can limit or expand your 'Tweeple.' Multiple interests are no problem and may even help you find options you hadn't thought of.

Fortunately, a lot of people have gotten past the idea of being on Twitter constantly and posting every sordid detail. You don't want to follow someone who hasn't, because they'll fill up your timeline and prevent you from seeing the Tweets you actually want.

 

grinkot
Posted on September 2nd 2011 at 9:22PM

I went ahead and downloaded the original report from ExactTarget. I was looking for the study's methodology, and that's critical because the numbers reported in this blog post suggest that:

  • 144,000,000 Twitter users publish blog posts at least once a month
  • 112,000,000 Twitter users write articles for third-party sites

And so on, based on my assumption that Twitter has 200,000,000 users and basic math (multiply the percentages by the 200MM figure). Do these stats sound reasonable?

According to my hard-won copy of the study, "the survey was fielded through a MarketTools TrueSample™ online panel and completed by 1,506 U.S. respondents, aged 15 and older, and stratified by age so that each age bracket contained no less than 200 responses."

(By the way, according to http://blogpulse.com/, there are fewer than 170,000,000 blogs in existence wordwide today. That's ALL blogs. Including probably 100,000,000 that their owners haven't touched in a few years. ;)

Posted on September 6th 2011 at 2:11PM

Twitter's interactivity keeps getting more and more complex as well--a good sign. In the days you spoke of where no one understood the implications of Twitter, users could only post their 146 characters with basically their own random thoughts. Twitter was the Facebook of the business world because it allowed for less irrelevant and inappropriate content. Then came link shorteners and third-party companies to allow other media to be integrated into the Twitter experience. A quick, eye-catching line before a link or a picture has become the norm. And now Twitter has even integrated link shortening ("This link will appear shortened") and photos can be uploaded directly to Twitter instead of through another application. We hope to continue this evolution with our app, Voice For Twitter, which allows you to voice-enable your Twitter (or Facebook with VoiceforFB). Hopefully people will soon find the value in recording their tweets! -@TweetWithVoice