I will be highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of using Twitter based on my own experience; I do social media marketing for almost ten different companies, so I’ll be sure to take the best of the best advice to pass on to you!
I’ll start with the advantages that Twitter has for businesses:
1) It’s easy to gain followers: In my own experience, I see an average month to month growth of Twitter followers between +5-20% for the business Twitter accounts. It’s easy to gain followers because (usually) when you follow people, they’ll follow you back!
2) Twitter doesn’t block your content: Twitter will post everything that you ask it to-whether it’s 2 tweets per day or 200. Other social media platforms limit who sees your content based on what they want their users to see.
3) Twitter doesn’t block third party post-scheduling apps: Twitter will allow you to post from any third party application (Such as HootSuite and Gremln); it will not block content, nor will it identify where the post is coming from.
4) It makes you think about what you are going to say: Because tweets are limited to 140 characters, you really are forced to think about what you’ll say and how you’ll say it best. Messages must be concise and straight to the point-you don’t risk boring your followers!
5) Following a brand on Twitter increases likelihood to purchase as well as recommend a brand: According to eMarketer, 37% of respondents are more likely to purchase from a brand after following them on Twitter (this is compared to only 17% that say the same about a brand they like on Facebook). Numbers are about the same when asked if they would recommend a brand.
6) Hashtags make it easy to use Twitter like Google: When using hashtags in tweets, you are making it easier for users to find your content. They can use the search bar to look for words like “marketing” or “twitter” and Twitter will pull up every tweet that has mentioned this word via hashtag for the past forever. This is an added way that new followers can find you and discover your content quickly and easily.
Of course, no social media platform is perfect. Here are what I would call disadvantages about using Twitter for businesses:
1) The half-life of a tweet is only two to three hours: Not only do you have to provide excellent and engaging content all the time; you must be careful about when you post your tweets! After just a few hours, the odds of a user seeing a tweet are minimal. It also means you need to post quite a few times each day to get your content in front of your followers.
2) It’s really hard to respond to complaints in a small amount of characters: If a customer provides a long and confusing tweet complaint, you may have to tweet back and forth several times to ask all of the questions you need to. The character limit may also make your tweets sound cold or “canned”, which may upset the user further.
3) Customers expect an instant response: Because Twitter is such an instant platform (many users use it as an instant news source), customers have very high expectations of response rates. I’ve had a user tweet back within just a few hours that they were disappointed that I “never” got back to them. This can, however, be turned into a positive if you have a great social media manager that is on top of responding to tweets coming in.
4) There aren’t any analytics built in to Twitter: Yes, there are third party programs that will create analytics for you, but you have to find which one will work for you. Other social media platforms offer analytics for managers within the platform itself for extra convenience.
5) The larger your follower number becomes, the more difficult it is to manage: This is a good problem to have-people like to hear what you have to say-but it makes responding to questions and tweets that come in extremely difficult. This can make engaging with your customers via Twitter tricky.
I believe that no matter how large or how small your business is, you should have a Twitter account! Yes it does take work to do it right, but it can be a great platform to expand the reach of your business and communicate your message with your customers.
Does your business have a Twitter account? What are the advantages and disadvantages you’ve run into?
See you for Part 2 and Part 3!
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MOpitzMarketing
“Twitter represents a collective collaboration that manifests our ability to unconsciously connect kindred voices through the experiences that move us. As such, Twitter is a human seismograph.” – Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks