Twitter for Entrepreneurs - Part 1: Why is Twitter Important?
'Why is Twitter important?' is the first article of the 'Twitter for Entrepreneurs' series, which will be published during the next few months on iX blog. In this series, you'll learn all about Twitter, how you can be a professional tweeter, and how Twitter can help you in building a successful brand.
So, why is Twitter important?
With more than 320 million monthly active users (as of January 2016), Twitter is the largest microblogging platform that allows users to post and read 'tweets' with a 140-character limit (at least for now). Unlike Facebook, you don't have to pay Twitter to reach your audience. In fact, you can easily reach beyond your direct followers if you have a strong and real fan base, and use Twitter correctly (e.g. #hashtags).
🐦 Twitter's current character limits is 280. (May 2018)
That's why Twitter is important; because it holds the key to your brand's potential, specially if you're an entrepreneur or involved in digital marketing. You want to reach people and make them care about your brand, don't you?
A recent study showed consumers not only are willing to spend more (almost $9 for flight tickets), but also they tend to spread the word even more after a positive customer service interaction on Twitter. It also showed that the faster the brand replies on Twitter, the more potential revenue exist. This potential in the speed also has a downside - the risk of a mistake, low quality or negative interaction! That's how Twitter becomes even more important - and needs to be handled professionally.
Another research showed that people are more likely (72%) to make a future purchase from a small and medium-sized business (SMB) after they follow or interact with on Twitter. Also, 30% of users are more likely to recommend a brand. It matters even more when you know that 86% of users are more likely to visit a SMB if a friend recommends them.
Social media is about people; it's not about technology. As you can see in the infographic above, 85% of followers feel more connected to a brand after following them on Twitter. This is exactly why Twitter is so important. Because it connects you, and your brand, to people - with feelings.
To win in today's social media race, humanisation is crucial as brands need authenticity. Your audience are constantly bombarded with advertising and pieces information (aka information overload) - from a branded pen on their desk to TV ads to ads on their favourite social network. Unless your brand is authentic, it won't get the attention you need.
Now, why is Twitter important again? Because if you earn their follow - not just a useless followback - it means that they've already made a connection with your brand and are willing to pay attention to your tweets. Even if they don't follow you immediately, there's no reason why you can't talk to them and help them. They also [need to] know that if they need you, you will be there for them too. That's why humanisation is an essential step in a brand's social journey.
If you're just like everybody else,
why should they choose you over everybody else?
Social media, unlike traditional media has opened the dialogue between brands and their fans. And Twitter has decreased the distance to virtually zero. If you tweet at someone or a a brand (or mention them - #TwitterLingo), there's a very good chance that they see it and reply. It means direct feedback! You know how valuable this can be for both businesses and consumers!? It's brilliant!
Social media - more specifically, Twitter - has provided brands with an opportunity - in fact, a second chance - to earn the trust of their audience by listening and talking to them - and not talking at them! This is the core of value of social media: more interaction, less broadcasting.
For the one last time, why is Twitter important? Twitter gives you and your brand to engage with your [potential] audience in a conversation, earn their trust and help them transform to your brand's advocates. Twitter is not a never-ending feed of teenagers talking about their crushes, in fact, take a look at the infographic below:
As you can see, more than half the users on Twitter have some college education or more. Also, 54% of the users have more than $50k income. Furthermore, there are about the same number of users (37%) in 18-29 bracket as the sum of 30-49 and 50-64. Basically, this means that if you're looking for educated users with above average income, Twitter is the place for you.
If you're still not sure about giving Twitter some serious thoughts - in fact, not just thoughts... action! - go back to the top of the page and reread the post! But if you're convinced that Twitter is an essential part of your brand strategy, you can subscribe to iX newsletter to make sure you won't miss the second part of 'Twitter for Entrepreneurs' series.
Also, while I'm working on part 2, you can read about Twitter etiquette so you have some ideas to get started with you Twitter.
Image credit: mkhmarketing