With over 280 million active users, Twitter is arguably the second largest social networking platform. A couple of Italian researchers have claimed that around 20 million of these accounts are fake, but that still leaves a user base that is compelling, if only for the size alone. Let's take a closer look at Twitter and explore some of the reasons why your brand should be tweeting.
The Numbers Game
Statistics from Pew Research reveal some compelling reasons for your brand to seriously consider adding Twitter to your online marketing mix.
23% of online adults in the U.S. use Twitter. If you stop to think about it, that is a fairly huge number from a marketing perspective. If these people are on Twitter, then so should you.
Twitter is popular to the under-50, college-educated sector of the population. This is a highly productive and very active segment of the population and most likely an attractive target for your business.
In the last couple of years, Twitter has seen a significant increase in the number of users from other demographic groups. These include increases in male users, people aged 65 and up, college graduates and people from households with an annual income of at least USD 50,000.
Over the last couple of years, Twitter has outpaced Facebook in terms of growth. The percentage of online adults who use Facebook remained unchanged from 2013 to 2014, staying flat at 71%, although the increase in level of engagement was notable. Twitter, on the other hand, recorded a huge jump from 18% to 23% in the same category.
BFFs: Twitter and Google
If the numbers aren't sexy enough for you, then perhaps you will consider this: Google regards Twitter profiles rather highly, and these often appear at the top of search results. Go ahead, try it; google someone's name. If that person has a Twitter account and has been actively using it, you will find that person's Twitter profile at the top, or near the top, of the search results.
Twitter itself has a very remarkable search mechanism that lets people easily find like-minded users and brands that they like or are interested in. But couple that with Google's high regard for Twitter and this can mean only one thing: you will be found!
More than Just a Face
I don't have to tell you how frustrating and impersonal things can feel when you are dealing with customer service of big brands. But on Twitter you have the opportunity to form direct relationships with your followers. This is especially important when you start trying to convert these social media prospects into customers. People prefer to buy from other people and being on Twitter gives you a face, albeit a virtual one. Because people can speak directly to you about your brand this puts you top-of-mind when it comes to your brand category.
Room to Grow
Despite all these advantages, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to Twitter's potential as a marketing channel. Despite its growing popularity and increasing adoption by a wider demographic, much of the marketing practices revolve around just a few of its features. In the future we expect to see more innovations and more sophisticated marketing practices to develop and evolve.