"Twitter's like snack food: it's fun, it tastes good, takes alot of time to eat, but there's no nutritional value"
As a social network, Twitter revolves around the principle of followers. When you choose to follow another Twitter user, that user's tweets appear in reverse chronological order on your main Twitter page
Most studies agree that, in 2010,Twitter usage was only about 7-8% of the population in North America. That means that out of the 528,720,588 people in North America only 42,297,647 use Twitter.
That means that that there could be a rather small percentage of your potential customers.
The adoption rate of Twitter, on the other hand, as depicted in the graph on the right, is pretty straight up.
However, before you make the decision "To Tweet or Not to Tweet" it might be worthwhile to understand a few things. Let's start with some numbers:
"Real Twitter Usage Stats" MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 AT 7:37AM
Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series released an interesting report entitled “Twitter Usage in America: 2010”. What really sets this report apart is the fact that they spent 3 years collecting and tracking usage.
The most interesting conclusion is the fact that “twitter is a broadcast channel” contrary to what many marketers believe. The majority of twitter users are lurkers and rarely post.
The report is filled with useful and actionable information but some interesting highlights include:
- In 2 years, American’s awarness of twitter has increased from 5% to 87%
- Although the level of awareness of Twitter now matches that of Facebook, the latter has significantly more active users. 7% of Americans actively use Twitter compared to 41% for Facebook.
- Surprisingly 2/3 of Twitter users access the service from a mobile device.
- The majority of Twitter users are passive information gatherers
- Twitter users seem more likely to follow Brands/Companies than users of other social networks (51% of users)
Banking on Twitter's projected growth is probably a good reason to get a Twitter acount. However, there are some other aspects of Twitter, that aren't going to be very apparent from the outside looking in, that are probably better.
As with much of Social Media, Twitter is another avenue for you to find out current, niche industry information. We're talking about "real time" information right from the source. It's good business intelligence.
Twitter is a BIG junction box. Once you start using social media, you quickly discover that you can sign in to a myriad of places via Twitter. Twitter's Application Programming Interface (API) allows other web services and applications to integrate with Twitter. EASILY!
An application programming interface (API) is a particular set of rules and specifications that a software program can follow to access and make use of the services and resources provided by another particular software program that implements that API. It serves as an interface between different software programs and facilitates their interaction, similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers.
Think of it like this: If I give you a uniform way of using my system to connect to everybody, then pretty soon everybody starts using my API. From a business perspective you can understand the logic. And Twitter connects to everything.
Because of this, Twitter becomes the basis of many of the dashboard applications that you can use to manage all of your social media outlets. This is a rather simple way of explaining this aspect and there's much more detail that we delve into with our clients, but hopefully this gives you a fundamental understanding.
It's also important to understand the issues related to NOT using Twitter if you decide to use a Blog, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Because Twitter is a junction box it can be connected so that your activities in one of your Social Media platform, say an uploaded YouTube video, or a new Blog post, automatically notifies your connections, say in LinkedIn, of your new activity.
Just as in sales, there are good listening skills required. You can “respond” to someone with a “canned” message or you can take 60 seconds to find out about them and respond with some relevance to them.
What follows below is some detailed explanation of what Twitter is and how it works. But before delving deeper into Twitter, you should know that if you start using Twitter, you will more than likely be caught up in "I need to get more followers" quickly. Keep in mind, Social Media is about quality, not quantity. Would you prefer, 100,000 people who have no clue about your product or service and absolutely no potential to buy or 100 customers who are truly interested in what you do and want to buy. Take a look at this short video from Seth Godin & Tom Peters.
What's a Message? (formerly called a Direct
A Message (previously called a Direct Message) is a private message sent via Twitter to one of your followers. (This is different than mentions and @replies.) In turn, people you follow can send you a private message. Please note: you cannot send a direct message to a user who is not following you.
How to Send a Private Message via the Web:
Tip: Make sure that user follows you. You may only send a direct message to your followers.
What is an @Reply?
A reply is any update posted by clicking the "Reply" button on another Tweet
People say lots of things on Twitter, and sometimes you want to say something back. Your reply will always begin with @username (insert username of the person you are replying to). Anyone Tweet that is a reply to you will show up in your @Mentions tab on your homepage. To post a reply on Twitter:
Find the Tweet you want to react to on Twitter.
<insert screen shot>
Hover your mouse over their message and click the "reply"
Complete your Tweet in the box that pops up, and click "Tweet" to send it
What is an @Mention?
A mention is any Twitter update that contains @username anywhere in the body of the Tweet. (Yes, this means that replies are also considered mentions.)
We noticed people frequently searching for their user name (@username) to find the Tweets that mention their username anywhere in the message. We collect these messages, as well as all your replies, in the @Mentions tab on your homepage. If you include more than one person's name in your update and you use the @username format, those people will all see the update in their personal mentions tab. To post a mention on Twitter:
Type your message normally, but replace any names you include with @username (including the person's Twitter username). Our system will recognize and highlight the username that way, as shown below for this mention of @FreelanceWhales (a super cool band that we mentioned).