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There’s been a lot of talk lately about Twitter being on the way out. Much of this conjecture is based on some form of truth – while not going backwards, when compared to most other social media platforms its user uptake has noticeably slowed in recent years. Twitter also suffers from a “celebrities only” image – a perception that the platform is only worthwhile if you have thousands or millions of people who are interested in what you’ve got to say.
All of these murmurs can make Twitter seem a little too much hassle for the standard small business owner. Forever short on time, it can seem somewhat of a frivolous exercise to spend your time shouting out into the Twitter ether.
The truth is that Twitter is still one of the most important marketing tools that any small business owner has at his or her disposal. How important? Let’s take a look.
The Importance of Twitter for Small Business
The user numbers are still huge
328 million. That’s the number of users that are active every month on Twitter. That, in anyone’s book, is a large audience, and it’s an audience that you can access entirely for free. While Twitter hasn’t seen the explosive growth that other platforms have in recent years, it has still experienced growth. The 328 million recorded at the start of 2017 was up from 310 million at the same time in 2016, so you can expect your potential audience to grow year on year. Currently, 24% of all male internet users use Twitter, while the number for females is 21%.
It’s quick, easy and effective
While most will spend an inordinate amount of time flicking through the filters on Instagram, or spend hours editing together a video for Facebook, Twitter is built for instantaneous communiques. It takes but a moment to produce some text or upload a Twitpic, allowing you to give real-time updates to your followers. But beware – it also allows you to covfefe.
Twitter has the most affluent users
Here’s a fun fact: over 54% of Twitter users earn at least US$50,000 per year. No other platform can compete with the level of cash that Twitter users bring to the table, making it the ideal network to use for small business owners.
Even Big Brands Have Twitter
Almost every big brand has an account
If big brands see the value in having a Twitter account, that’s as good a sign as any that it’s worth your while too. Three hundred seventy-seven of Fortune 500 companies have a Twitter accountt, with the exceptions mainly being in the notoriously social media-shy B2B, finance and pharma industries. Your local corner store probably has one. Your business’ Twitter account should form a fundamental part of your greater marketing strategy
It’s the best ‘broadcasting’ platform
If someone wants to get the latest updates from their favourite sports team, band or celebrity, they will inevitably go to Twitter. So if your customers want to hear the latest from your business, you’d expect that your customers might do the same. If you need to broadcast information to the public in a direct manner, nothing works better than Twitter.
Twitter forces you to be succinct
There’s no room to faff about on Twitter. With a 140 character limit, it forces you to create punchy, memorable posts which deliver your message in the most efficient way possible. By reducing your posts to just a few words, you’re forced to give your followers only the most important information. There’s no fear of your point being lost in the noise.
In short, Twitter offers more than a few things that other social platforms simply cannot. As one of the oldest social media sites there can be a temptation to label it stale and past its use-by date, but the truth is quite the opposite. It remains one of the most potent marketing weapons in any small business owner’s arsenal.