“Twitter is boring, is it dying out?”
I heard someone ask this about Twitter recently.
It was like an arrow through my heart (I bleed little blue birds).
I knew it not to be true, but when there are exciting, younger social media models gaining momentum, then it would be easy for some to draw this conclusion.
After my initial allergic reaction to this comment (it didn’t last long), I felt a fire in my belly that gave way to an eruption of goosebumps as I excitedly delivered my response.
I will tell you what that was in a sec, but first, let’s get the statisticians in, to make it really clear just how powerful Twitter really is…
- Twitter has over 288 million active users with a presence in almost every major country
- It was the fastest growing social network last year, adding 40% more active users in the last 6 months of 2012
- 340 million tweets sent per day with people spending an average of 36 minutes there each day
Impressive right? So here’s why else Twitter is as strong as ever…
It’s happening. Right now!
Twitter is a democracy. Every tweet that is posted is seen in sequential order and is given equal importance. Each one adding another dimension to the events that take place on any given day.
It’s why Twitter is where the news breaks before anywhere else.
It’s why people turn to Twitter to find solutions and outcomes for whatever they need, and get almost immediate answers.
They just need to tweet a question to find what they need, and the friendly Twitter folk do the rest.
And, that’s important for business because we can listen to those conversations, we can ask our own questions to understand our customers better, getting instant responses; plus we can be there to provide the solutions people are looking for. More on this below…
It sets your inner social butterfly free
Twitter is the most sociable social network out there. It was the first to do away with the ‘invitation to connect’.
Do you need an invitation to walk up to someone at an event and say ‘hello’?
Of course not. The same applies on Twitter.
You can tweet with anyone, anyone can follow you or tweet back. It’s one big free-for-all, and this creates a jolly, buzzing atmosphere where business relationships are started and nurtured. It’s perfect for connecting with others and broadening your own network and community. Even people you would normally think are way out of your league.
Twitter has the most sophisticated search engine of all the social networks.
You may wonder why this is so important. Trust me it is and as a business user it’s a HUGE benefit.
Because Twitter happens in real time, its powerful search engine enables you to plug into tweets about specific topics as they take place, giving you a direct line to people who could benefit from your product or service.
Take these real life Twitter examples below…
or how about this one?
and here’s another…
Smart Twitter users set up searches that notify them of results for questions that they’re customers might be asking. This means that they see the question, swish their superpower cape and swoop to the rescue.
Pretty cool, eh?
No other social network can do this. It’s flipping Google search on its head, giving power to the service or product provider.
Loved by journalists and the media
Every journalist from gossip hunters to political debaters use Twitter to sniff out material for their next article, radio or TV show.
The media relies on a regular flow of insider info, quotes and experts to provide depth to their stories, and they need them quickly. That’s why Twitter is perfect for media.
Twitter search, real time flow and accessibility means this is where real news breaks first, so the media HAVE to be there to get the lowdown.
And, if you’re there too – you can create opportunities to be the media’s next big story.
This isn’t hot air – I’ve seen it happen countless times, and people inside my Twitter Brilliance course have been featured on the radio and national magazines just by being friendly and available to the media using Twitter.
And, professional bloggers with big active communities
These days professional bloggers are an extension of the media – and with their loyal followings and large communities, one word from them is sometimes all you need to hit a huge traffic spike on your website, or for a product to sell out.
Twitter is where these heavy hitters are hanging out. They understand the power of words and how quickly tweets can go viral when you’ve built up a huge community.
One tweet from these heavy hitters and it’s retweeted a gazillion times. Instant fame!
An impact in just 10 minutes a day
Twitter has a bad reputation for being a time suck. No doubt. It’s an easy place to procrastinate, waste time and be distracted by the many weird and wonderful things that are going on there. It’s a social network, after all.
But when you have a plan (and like any other aspect of your business, to get the best results you need one) you can maintain and grow a presence there in just a few minutes a day.
Frankly, if you’re spending hours there every week and not seeing results for your efforts then something’s not working. Get help!
Web traffic wizardry
One of the quirks of Twitter is that each tweet is limited to 140 characters. Hmmmm….not much room to get your point across.
But that works in our favour for a few reasons:
1. When we’re reading tweets we can scan a large amount of them quickly until we find one of interest. Each tweet is in effect a headline, so we can target, read what we need and quickly move on.
2. When we’re sending tweets we can include additional info, such as live links, images and video to enhance and give context to our 140 character messages.
This second point means that Twitter users are comfortable being sent outside of the Twitter website to open links elsewhere.
This isn’t the same for all networks. For instance Facebook users prefer to stay on the Facebook website itself.
Why is this important?
It means it’s the perfect social network for guiding people to other areas of the internet – like your website, blog, event pages, sales and opt-in pages. And, that means better website traffic for you. Bingo!
With its unique features Twitter is a treasure trove of opportunities no matter what type of small business you run – creative, professional, service based or selling a product – and I’ve highlighted just 7 reasons why, in this article. Are you convinced that Twitter is still a reigning champion among social networks? Let me know in the comments below.
* Image Twitter bird by eldh via Flickr – Creative Commons