In a previous blog I discussed the pros and cons of using Facebook as your chosen social channel. So to continue the debate, this blog will discuss whether Twitter is the best social media website for small businesses.

Twitter

Twitter is the social media website that confuses everyone! Whenever I try to introduce Twitter to clients they all seem to get in a panic over hashtags and how many “Twitters” they should post each day…

The Pros:

Huge audience
Twitter commands an audience of 310 million. Although this isn’t as big as Facebook’s, it’s still massive, so there should be plenty of choice and opportunity.

Engage with influencers
Twitter is the best social media website for engaging with key influencers. Celebrities, politicians, bloggers and big brands can be reached with ease with a simple tweet. They won’t always respond, but if you can find the right message or engage with someone that’s relevant, you stand a good chance. Through this, you can almost piggy back off their success, exposing your content to their audience. This is one of Twitter’s biggest bonuses and it shouldn’t be underestimated. My tip would be to search for and engage with relevant mid-range bloggers – those with a following of just a few thousand. These guys are more likely to respond and engage and you’ll stand a good chance of getting some decent exposure through it.

Customer service
It’s the go-to place for customer service. Alright, complaints, but that’s still important. There’s an opportunity to publicly show how you care and want to resolve your customers’ issues.

Breaking news
Twitter is also one of the go-to places for breaking news, as consumers know that up-to-date information is quickly fired out by those in the know. This presents an opportunity to small businesses for guerrilla marketing – jumping on ‘trending topics’ whilst they’re hot and seeking to capitalise on their exposure.

No need for visual content
Twitter is largely text-based with a stronger focus on the message and the conversation, so there’s less of a requirement to spend on pricey imagery or video.

Concise messages
Twitter has a 140-character limit on all its tweets, which means everyone is sharing concise message that are to the point. No waffle. No faff. No nonsense. Unless you follow Trump that is.

The Cons:

Limited word count
Although the 140-character limit ensures that everyone is concise and to the point, it’s also a pain in the ass at times. Be prepared to waste precious time trying to slim down a 200-character tweet without losing the core message…

Lack of innovation
Twitter started as something highly innovative. A new way of communicating that quickly ensnared a huge audience, including dozens of celebrities. But since then, they haven’t done all that much… And even the stuff they do add is a bit iffy. I haven’t met a single person who understands Moments; one of their biggest additions in recent years.

Slow user growth
Its user base isn’t growing at nearly the rate of other social media platforms. It’s 4 years older than Instagram, but has somehow managed to fall behind in audience size.

Posts can get buried
As tweets are short, sharp and easy to fire off, that means there’s a huge volume being pumped out every day. So your opinion could get buried under a thousand others before its even a few seconds old.

Is Twitter the best for small businesses?

The jury’s out on whether it’s the best, but it’s certainly a very good choice. If they were just more innovative they would be much more appealing. Without it, they risk falling behind.

What do you think? How have you found your experience of Twitter?

Posted by:Mark Flint

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