Do you use Twitter to help promote your business or just to socialize? I have gone back and forth creating accounts on Twitter, using them periodically, deleting them, then recreating them due to a feeling that my experience will change.
Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is an amazing social platform that can be very useful and entertaining for most. You can follow your favorite professionals and celebrities, participate in asynchronous discussions, share your thoughts with friends, and all of which is done in a way that is short and to the point.
But how does Twitter benefit businesses exactly? That will depend on what your goals are and what you are using Twitter for in order to achieve them. More often than not, businesses use Twitter to promote events, news, blog posts, and other referenced material that requires the Twitter user to click a link to read more in order for any further action to take place.
From my own experience, this starts off OK. You post short tidbits about interesting articles and resources you think your followers will like, tag it, provide a link for the follower to read more and sit back and wait for the referrals to come in. If what you posted is interesting enough, it’s favorited and retweeted so more people will get the opportunity to see it. But how many of those people actually click the link you shared? Yes the tweet is getting great exposure by being shared, but are you really benefiting from just the exposure?
An example of what I am explaining in my scenario above, is using Google Adwords. Google Adwords is an amazing marketing platform that you can use to promote your website in Google’s search results. You create a campaign, set an audience, keywords, and a budget, and pay Google to showcase your promoted website ad in the user’s results.
Google Adwords has the option to pay by click and pay by impression, for this instance we will focus on the impression aspect since it applies more to the experience in Twitter. You setup an impression based campaign and pay Google to show your ad as much as your budget allows. Over the next week your ad was displayed in a user’s search results 30,000 times but was only clicked on twice. Out of those 2 clicks, neither user proceeded with completing your desired goal and left your website.
Both of these, Twitter and Google, required your time, energy, and resources in order to use and promote your business. With Google you specifically paid them for their service, but had only 2 users click through to your site and neither provided you with any return.
With Twitter it may not be as clear right away what your losses were, if any. Each tweet does not take a lot of time to post, but in order for it to show in your followers feeds, which are constantly being updated by other tweets, you should tweet a couple times throughout the day and continue doing that for as many days as needed. If you were to add up the amount of time you spend at the end of the week, you can start to see how much money is being spent on Twitter and if it’s worth it.
Twitter can be an amazing marketing tool for those that want to be known in their field for providing useful information and resources related to their industry which is why professionals often choose it to be their primary social network.
But beyond that, with trying to convert followers into clients/customers through link sharing, I don’t see Twitter as being the right platform for your business.
The following article by Derek Thompson goes over his own experience using Twitter to help promote The Atlantic, which inspired me to write my own opinion in this post, and how the Tweet Activity revealed some surprising and dissatisfying results.