Should Your Business be on Twitter?
By: June Bachman, Wendy Ogryzek and Teresa Mitchell ~
Social Media is a good idea for your small business for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, prospective customers are three times more likely to trust their online community, as opposed to advertising, when they are making buying decisions. Additionally, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising.
While there are a number of Social Media platforms from which you can choose, this month’s article (and final installment in our six-part series about Social Media Marketing) delves directly into the world of Twitter.
So What IS Twitter Anyway?
Twitter is a free Social Media website that allows users to follow each other's 140 character posts (called a Tweet). Some people use Twitter to keep in touch and up-to-date with friends and family, with daily activity posts.
As Twitter continues to grow in awareness and popularity, businesses are seeking ways to leverage the Twitter community as a marketing channel - an extension of their marketing strategies. There are several reasons for businesses to evaluate Twitter and determine if it should be added to their marketing plans:
- Twitter usage continues to grow and also drives consumer awareness.
- Twitter users actively discuss products and services. Businesses (whose target market is on Twitter) need to not only monitor what users may be saying about their businesses, but they should also be providing content for those users to discuss.
- o 42% of users learn about products and services via Twitter.
- o 41% of users provide opinions and information about products and services.
- o 31% of users ask for opinions about products and services.
- o 28% of users seek discounts and sales.
- More Americans are aware of Twitter (87%), but few are using it (7%). Compared to Facebook, where 88% are aware of Facebook and 41% are using it.
- Most small businesses are NOT leveraging Social Media. In fact 81% of small businesses have not used Facebook, Twitter or Linked In during the past twelve months. This is a fabulous opportunity for you to get a jump on your competition.
- 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products.
Additional reasons why Twitter may be a good fit for your business include:
- Your niche target market is spending time on Twitter.
- You provide time sensitive information or updates about your business.
- You want to share information in "real time" with your target niche market.
Moreover the benefits of adding Twitter to your marketing plan include:
- Speed. Information can be disseminated very quickly using Twitter.
- Reach. Information can be shared between users' networks, extending a broad reach.
- Target. Twitter has niche interest groups. Information can be shared to specific groups of people.
Twitter Demographics – Who’s Spending Their Time on Twitter?
The primary reason for a small business to consider using Twitter, is if their target market is using Twitter. Based on the aforementioned, if your target market is using Twitter, then they are spending time chatting about your products, services and brand. You want to be a part of that conversation! You want to provide them with something to talk about!
The following demographic information will assist you as you determine if your target market is spending time on Twitter.
- Median age of users is 31
- 55% of users are female
- 45% of users are ages 18-34
- 24% of users are ages 35-49
Most users are generation Y followed by generation X, accounting for 69% of Twitter users. Gen Y-ers are ambitious, information driven and strive to get ahead. While gen X-ers are more reactive and very street savvy.
- 35% - live in urban areas
- 9% - live in rural areas
- 17% - households earning less than $30K tweet
- 25% - households earning between $30K - $60K tweet
- 28% - households earning between $60K - $100K tweet
- 30% - households earning more than $100K tweet
- 69% of users are Caucasian
- 16% of users are African American
- 11% of users are Hispanic
- 53% of users do not have kids (ages 0-17)
- 49% of users have no college
- 38% of users are college graduates
- 13% of users have advanced college degrees
Summing it up ... if your target niche is a Caucasian, female, between the ages of 18 - 49 without kids, but with disposable income ... then you may want to consider tweeting!
Twitter and Blogging
If your marketing strategy includes blogging, then you should consider the power punch that Twitter offers to bloggers. One of the most powerful Twitter tools, for bloggers is RETWEETing. Twitter users can retweet posts - whereby sharing the initial tweet with all of their followers.
For example, you write a blog post and then you tweet about your blog post with a link back where the entire post can be read. You may only have a few followers who will read your tweet. However, some of your followers may have hundreds of followers. When one of your followers retweets your post ... you have now reached hundreds more people, who may click on the link to your site and read your new blog post.
Keep in mind when blogging and tweeting about your blogs, always produce good, quality content. Users are drawn to great content, and are much more likely to share it.
Best Times to Tweet
So, you’ve decided that tweeting may be a good strategy to add to your marketing plan. How do you know when you should be tweeting?
- The best days of the week to tweet are Tuesday through Friday - with Thursday being the busiest Twitter day.
- The best time of the day to tweet is between 9:00am and 3:00pm (Pacific Time). During business hours.
The ultimate best time to tweet is Thursday afternoon. However, consider putting together a strategy where you are tweeting at least once per day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Don’t worry too much about tweeting on the weekends. Most of the tweeting that occurs on the weekends is family and friend related.
Here are a few more suggestions and tips to consider, as you build your Twitter strategy.
- Blog often - and always tweet about your blogs.
- Retweet useful tweets from others. You are sharing interesting content with your followers ... not to mention those you retweet might take the time to check you out - or even follow you!
- Use the hash tag (#) to mark the topic of your tweets. For example, include "#topic" within the tweet. Users of Twitter often times search all of Twitter by topic. You don't want your tweets to be overlooked.
- Tweet in parts. If you've written a blog that has three main points, you can tweet each point separately throughout the day, with the same link back to the blog post.
- Tweet during rush hour. Be sure tweet when the most users are on Twitter. It increases the chances that your tweets will be read. If you're typically busy during these times, use a tool that allows you to schedule your tweets.
- Use Twitter Search to learn:
- If your competition is using Twitter.
- What conversations are happening about your business industry.
- Keywords related to your business/industry and what other's are tweeting about.
Finally, if you are still wondering if Twitter is a good fit with your business, or if you’ve figured that it is, but don’t know where to start. Join us on June 23rd in Redmond, for our next workshop … Twitter for Biz!