Why Twitter could be crucial to your business. Even if you don't use it!
It's always interesting when talking to customers about how they decide on which social media platforms their brand or business should be present. We've heard arguments such as ‘I sell business to business, so Facebook is really not for me’ or ‘My business is consumables so networking on LinkedIn isn't really appropriate’. The fact is that the various social media platforms, by design, all have one thing in common. They are used by people - and no matter what business you are in, the purchase is always being made by a human, whether that's a consumer on the High Street or the purchasing manager of a corporate business.
So, what about Twitter? Are the right people you want to target, on Twitter?
In this blog post, we aren't going to go into a break down of the details on the target audiences for different social media profiles but one way in which Twitter stands out from other social media platforms is how broad its target audience is. Businesses use Twitter for news related posts, networking and finding suppliers while many people use Twitter to follow celebrities, get updates on favourite sports professionals and even see what politicians are saying (and in the UK there are certainly plenty of people who love to know what their favourite celebrities and sports personalities are up to).
Twitter has experienced many ups and downs in its relatively short life from being a heavyweight giant alongside Facebook in its early days to rumours that the platform was dying in popularity a few years ago, but as time has gone on Twitter continues to be one of the largest social media platforms today. And missing it from your marketing strategy could be a mistake!
One great advantage of using Twitter is that your brand can go viral at a relatively low cost. Unlike Facebook, you don’t need to spend money on Ads to reach a large number of people. Hashtags and the ability to retweet posts mean that your tweets are more likely to be seen by more people and whilst Instagram is effective when it comes to hashtags, you can’t share other people’s posts on your feed.
We aren’t saying you should abandon Facebook (although their market share has dropped recently), Instagram or LinkedIn. Merely that Twitter is unique in many ways and should be considered as part of overall marketing activities!
Pro-active or a watchful eye?
Even if your business isn't actively posting and interacting on Twitter, there are many benefits to having an account and keeping an eye on activities. Many businesses have set up separate Twitter accounts to deal with customer service or support enquiries because they recognise and understand the way in which Twitter works (and being open for everyone to see your profile if it’s a public profile is part of that). If you want to know who is criticising your brand or unhappy with your competitors then Twitter is a platform to keep an eye on. If you aren’t monitoring activity on Twitter, how can you be aware of, or respond to, people talking about your brand?
We are aware from experience of a large utility/services company (whose name we won’t give here) that uses Twitter to monitor comments about their competitors and responds to those that are annoyed by offering a quick and easy switch to their services.
Twitter is also a great place to find out what your customers want - either for market research or as part of a lead generation process. The search feature allows you to quickly see what people are saying based on keywords. You can then use the results from your search to understand what people might be looking for and possibly integrate this into your existing sales process by interacting with potential customers. A printing company can find people, for example, that are talking about exhibitions, setting up a new business or some other activity that is more likely to require printed merchandise.
There are various platforms such as Audiense* which allow you to gather insights from Twitter to understand your target audience and what is trending. What you decide to do with that information is then up to you!
Whatever your business and whoever your target audience is, Twitter has a very strong case for being part of your marketing activities. If you would like to understand more about Twitter, get in touch!
Our next blog post will also cover some clever ways you can use Twitter to grow your business.
* we are not endorsing, just trying to be helpful.