In 2006, Twitter was the upstart social media platform. It quickly grew with people attracted to its quick-fire way of connecting (I was an early adopter – I celebrate my 10th Twitter birthday in March) It brought us hashtags, funny memes and a glorious way of making the world feel smaller, more intimate. Not only that, but people could interact with everything they ever found partially interesting, including celebrities, brands and news.
Social media is a crowded space right now and it has shown no signs of slowing down. Last week, Snapchat filed for its stock market listing with an IPO offering that valued the company at £25 Billion, the biggest ever for a tech company. Part of what makes Snapchat attractive is its appeal to advertisers and specifically the focus on the teen and millennials markets.
Coincidentally, this was a market the former record holder, Twitter, used to have cornered. But somewhere along the road, Twitter lost its way.
Running an advertising campaign on Twitter should always be part of a bigger picture with larger long term goals in mind and its obvious it has its flaws. Part of its supposed appeal to advertisers is its narrow segmentation. Advertisers can target particular followers and timelines of potentially interested people and even hashtags but whilst this is supposed be shooting fish in barrel stuff, it isn’t. Because people use Twitter to follow and engage with all sorts of interests including things that are practical to them – for instance, I follow Arriva not because I love trains but because I like to know if I’m getting to work on time. This doesn’t mean I want promoted tweets from Stagecoach and Virgin Trains. After nearly 10 years of being on Twitter, judging by the promoted tweets on my timeline, it doesn’t know me very well.
But that isn’t to say it doesn’t have its pros. There are many ways to promote your businesses on Twitter and if your segmentation is suitably narrow and geographically targeted, you can see good results. And by using the promoted account service, you can build a strong following. And of course, a good idea goes a long way whichever medium you choose.
Twitters usage stats have remained strong, although they have declined. The number stood at 313 million people worldwide in 2016 and between 13 and 15 million users every day in the UK at last count (they haven’t released official numbers since 2014) which, for a social media platform in 2017, is still impressive numbers.
I’ve always said that Twitter for brands and businesses is about real engagement with your audience. Have a regularly updated and engaging account with diverse content and you’ll see positive interactions. It shouldn’t be another sales tool. Use it as a tool for brand awareness and you won’t go far wrong.