What can you say in 140 Characters? Even though Blogs are an effective and easy way to build a social presence, microblogging makes you practice in becoming more concise in what you want to say. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s generally enough to spark interest from users giving them current information and power. It also gives company practice in responding to the feedback they’ve received. Twitter has quickly become a key part of groundswell- “driving, reporting and extending activity in everything from blogs to social networks” (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
Summary of Twitter
Followers- Anyone can follow anyone. Twitter has made stalking acceptable (unless they block you). The ease has modified and made making connections easier.
Hashtags and searches- All twitter updates are public which makes information searchable and easier to find. Hashtags are markers designed to make searching for topics easier, such as #WestJetChristmas #superbowl2017 or #Harrypotternews.
Mentions and retweets- if you want to mention someone within your tweet, simply use the @symbol and their handle/twitter name. For example, mine would be @misskayte25. Retweets are another twitter feature which allows users to share what other people have posted by retweeting.
Links- “many tweets include links to websites” to direct online users. Short posts can spark enough interest for people to search further into the topic.
Lists- Twitter has added the ability to create lists of the people you follow for others to see.
Apps and Tools- Because twitter is limited to 140 characters, certain apps make posting easier by condensing links or managing/ organizing your company’s mentions. Apps like TweetDeck or TweetBot 4, make responding faster and easier.
Apparently, in 2010, groundswell stated that “only 7% of online adults in the United States were actively tweeting” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). That number has since increased. As of 2015, 65.8% of companies in the U.S. use Twitter for marketing purposes, and (Smith, 2017). Li and Bernoff state that there are 65 million US monthly active users on Twitter, but as of the fourth quarter in 2016, over 319 million people globally have been reported as active users (Statista, 2016).
What does that mean for business? Well, according to Twitter’s Business page, 66% of users have discovered a new small or medium sized business, from that 94% state that they plan to purchase something and 69% bought something they saw on twitter (Business, n.d.).
Objectives of Microblogging
When it comes to Twitter, mixing objectives is fine if it’s what your customers require. Once you begin to connect with your audience, they will expect you to listen, respond and broadcast. The following steps are objective suggestions and how to interact properly with your audience. I briefly explained these 5 objectives in Post Postings Professionally.
- Listen: Really listen to what your consumers have to say. This will give you a general understanding of what people think about your company and brand.
- Talk: Have something interesting to say. Talking for the sake of talking gets boring. Please don’t just post about press releases. Post about how you will resolve problems, or fun events planned.
- Energize: Find people who like your product/service and amplify their voices to energize your fans. Like their content and create a connection, it makes it feel more personable.
- Supporting: People will expect you to maintain your account and respond to questions and concerns.
- Embracing: This is easier said than done. This is probably one of the hardest objectives within groundswell and even more difficult using twitter. This is because you need to gather a following before you have an impact. Draw people in by providing incentives and ask questions by surveying them.
An example of all of these objectives would be when Tim Hortons relaunched their dark roast because of online guest feedback. It inspired them to take action and try to correct their product. They listened to their consumers, talked about how they were going to resolve their issue and energized their audience by creating a stronger coffee. They even supported their customer’s feedback and promoted people to tweet their opinions using the hashtag #timsdark. They embraced that their product wasn’t perfect but they respected their consumers enough to publically acknowledge that they made a mistake.
Setting up an account is simple, but maintaining meaningful content is the challenging part. There needs to be interactions with your audience to have any sort of impact. Also, make it enjoyable, when people are engaged there is better communication and it could end up trending. Remember, Social Media is one of many marketing tools available in promoting your business presence.
Business (n.d.) Twitter Basics. Retrieved from https://business.twitter.com/en/basics.html
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, USA: Forrester Research Inc.
Smith, C. (2017) Twitter Business Statistics and Facts (February 2017). DMR. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/twitter-stats-for-businesses/
Statista (2016) Number of monthly active Twitter users worldwide from 1st quarter 2010 to 4th quarter 2016 (in millions). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/