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Should I use Twitter for my business?

Facts, figures and points to consider.

May 30, 2017

If you’ve heard that Twitter can be a great place for your business to connect with like-minded customers, prospects, suppliers and influencers, then you’d be right.

Twitter is one of the more established social media platforms, having been going since 2006.

It started out as an SMS-based platform where groups of people could interact based on their status, or what they’re doing at the moment. Since then it’s developed into a fast-paced social channel where people can connect and converse with others from all around the world.

One of the defining features of Twitter is its need for conciseness. Participants are limited to 140 characters per tweet, harking back to its roots in SMS.

In this blog, we’ll look at who uses Twitter, why you should consider it for your business and point you in the direction of some time-saving tools.

How popular is Twitter?

Let’s have a look at some stats.

You can keep up-to-date with Twitter figures from its quarterly letters to investors, here are the latest figures from Q1 2017:

  • There are 328 million users that are active every month – an increase of 9 million (6%) quarter-over-quarter.
  • Daily active use has increased 14% year-on-year.
  • 800 hours of live video were streamed in Q1 2017, reaching 45 million unique viewers, an increase of 31% from the previous quarter.

Some people have said that Twitter is in trouble. Contrary to the damp cloth of naysayers, it’s actually on the up. Undoubtedly recent improvements to the user experience such as longer message lengths and its push on video have helped drive the trend upwards again.

What do people use Twitter for?

People use Twitter for different reasons, here are the main ones:

  • Hearing the latest news. It’s a great news aggregator and you can often find out the latest updates here first.
  • Sharing ideas.
  • Connecting with like-minded people.
What people on Twitter don't like is being sold to. Click To Tweet

What people on Twitter don’t like is being sold to. More on this later.

Twitter’s different from the other B2B social media platforms because it’s about being in the moment. It’s fast moving, fuelled by the latest news and live on and offline events.

You can easily see what topics are tending by looking at the left hand of your profile page, under your profile stats.

Click on the hashtags to hear the discussion and have your say.

Twitter trends screen grab
Twitter trends screen grab

Twitter’s own research into usage patterns (2016) found:

‘Because people are often in a discovery mindset when they’re on Twitter, they’re looking for new businesses to follow and interact with.’

Its researchers surveyed 5,450 people from around the world who followed a small to medium business.

Twitter SMB research profile
Twitter SMB research profile

The research gave the following insight into how people use Twitter:

  • 99% of users surveyed used the platform weekly.
  • 57.6% used Twitter daily.
  • 31.1% saw tweets from small to medium sized businesses (SMB) daily.
  • 29.9% saw tweets from SMBs every time they logged in.
  • 64% of respondents said they had discovered an SMB on Twitter.
How are people discovering SMBs on Twitter?
How are people discovering SMBs on Twitter?

What should I post on Twitter?

Twitter is a place to connect, not a place to hard sell. If you sell too much then you risk aggravating your followers.

With this in mind, keep your content relevant and helpful. People scroll through their feeds quickly so your content needs to stand out – for the right reasons. Use images, polls, animated gifs and video to share your expertise and encourage followers to visit your web site.

Try out quotes, statistics, questions or insight to engage with your followers.  Share your content more than once to increase the chances of it being seen.

And, remember to take part in the conversation through Twitter hours, hashtags and interacting with those who like or share your content, industry thought leaders,  people you meet on the networking circuit, journalists and businesses that work in the same or a connected industry.

Which tools will help me drive Twitter performance?

Social media will suck up your time if you let it. If there is a trick, it’s to use apps to do the leg work for you, then you can focus on responses and in-the-moment tweets.

A word of warning: Don’t over automate – people can spot it a mile away and it turns them off.

Think about the automated ‘thanks for following’ messages. These can come across as insincere, so maybe do a weekly round up message to welcome new followers at the end of the week to keep the personal touch while being efficient.

Here’s a selection of tools to try out:

Social media scheduling tools:

Social media schedulers help you to save time by scheduling content in advance. These are the most popular.

Buffer

Hootsuite

Tweetdeck

Tools for creating images:

People scroll quickly and posts with images are more likely to attract their attention. These tools help you to create effective images quickly.

Canva

Pablo

Twitshot

Analytics tools:

Reviewing your performance on at least a monthly basis will help you to understand what content is most effective for your audience. These tools will help bring you this insight in a digestible format.

Followerwonk

Buffer

Hootsuite

Sumall

Twitter analytics

Why Tweet?

Twitter is a great way for businesses to show their personality and make meaningful connections.

What the best marketing channels for your business are depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Ultimately, you’ll be at your most successful if you’re present in the same places as your customers and prospects.

As a marketing channel, Twitter enables businesses to reach more people at the start of their buyer journey and develop and deepen those relationships with quality, personal interactions.

Should I outsource my Twitter?

At Salt Marketing we believe social media works best when it’s done by your employees in your business – remember the ‘social’ in social media and that it is about quality, personal interactions. It’s hard to outsource the personal touch.

Where we can help is by shortening your learning curve.

We know what types of content work best on each platform and can work with you to develop a social media plan. Hey, we can even create and schedule content for you and provide a monthly report analysing your interactions and our scheduled posts.

Our approach is to work by your side to ease the workload and achieve your objectives quicker.

If you’d like our help, simply call on 01254 457016 or email info@salt-marketing.co.uk to arrange a complimentary discussion.

Other articles you may be interested in:

Why you need to know your business’ why.

Are you giving customers what they really, really want?

B2B Marketing Expo 2017: Content marketing tips from the top.