Who’s Tweeting Now? [Research]

10 Twitter Tips Every Business Can Use

Twitter iconTwitter continues to grow at a steady pace attracting a loyal audience. Roughly one out of every seven, online adults uses Twitter according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project as of February 2012.

This is twice the amount who used the social media site in November, 2010, when Pew first started tracking Twitter usage. Further the proportion of adult users on a typical day has doubled in the past year to 8%. 

While this growth pales compared to the high growth rates of social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, these results show Twitter has attracted a steady audience, half of whom use the site on a daily basis. Among Twitter users, three salient demographic factors stand out in the Pew findings.

  1. Roughly one quarter of online participants aged 18-29 uses Twitter. This is twice the rate of those aged 30-49.
  2. About three out of ten African-American Internet participants use Twitter. Roughly half of these users do so on a typical day.
  3. Urban and suburban residents are more likely to use Twitter than those living in rural areas. Twitter usage as of May 2012 via Pew research

Further, increased smartphone penetration strongly correlates with Twitter usage.  Specifically, Pew Research found that one fifth of smartphone owners uses Twitter while basic mobile phone owners are half as likely to use this social media site. This makes sense since Twitter, while designed to work within an SMS framework, is much easier to use via a smartphone app.  Twitter use on smartphone

As a marketer, what does this Twitter research mean for you? You can’t ignore Twitter’s strengths.  Here are ten ways Twitter makes a difference for your business. Of course, you have to make every tweet count!

  1. Provides an authentic, human voice. Whether you have one person or multiple employees representing your organization, Twitter allows you to speak in a human voice.
  2. Supports developing a social media following. By participating on Twitter, your firm can build an engaged community.
  3. Allows you to engage directly with prospects, customers and public. Twitter enables organizations to interact on a one-to-many, one-to-one, and many-to-many basis.
  4. Distributes your content marketing. By integrating Twitter into your content distribution strategy, you can expand your reach.
  5. Enables readers and others to share your content with their social media following. This provides earned media impressions as well as an endorsement.
  6. Offers a conduit for customer service. As with any communication channel, Twitter enables your company to help answer customer questions. Unlike other channels, representatives on Twitter can be proactive and reach out to people-on-go. This offers another mobile opportunity.
  7. Shares your content from events to a broader audience. Through live tweeting and hashtags you can share content from live events, conferences and Twitter chats.
  8. Supplies a quick response tool for getting your message out. This can be effective in an emergency or PR crisis if you’ve developed a Twitter following.
  9. Allows you to track customer sentiments and comments. With the use of various tracking tools, you can monitor what your prospects, customers and fans are saying about your firm, products and brands.
  10. Enables you to monitor your competition. At a minimum, you can listen to what your competitors are saying on this social media platform. You can go further and track sentiments and comments about your competitions and compare these results with those about your firm.

The bottom line is you can’t ignore Twitter in your marketing plans. Regardless of your social media strategy, Twitter provides a concise, cost effective way to get your message out and engage with the public.

What other insights would you draw from this Twitter research? What other Twitter tips would you add to this list?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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