Twitter, the social media giant, boasts the largest growing network in the world. Figures illustrate that at least 21% of the internet population are now active on the social network. This may not seem as large as one would think, however, when put into context the full scale of this figure is revealed. Consider the fact that only 35% of the worlds population have access to the internet. This means that over half of those that use the internet are regular users of Twitter! GlobalWebIndex suggest that this number amounted to around 288million users at the end of 2012.
Now, is this surge of impersonal communication a good thing? It depends on who’s asking. Businesses have benefited greatly from a new advertising platform on which they can assume large viewing volumes, thus the landscape of digital marketing has revolutionised. The fact that the number of traditional banner advertisements on the internet has declined is no coincidence. Businesses would much rather use social media platforms to advertise due to the fact that they can alter their marketing schemes daily through each individual tweet! Thus, real-time advertising through social media has been born. Take the Superbowl for example. With the fiasco that occurred with the lights cutting out, came a cascade of witty adverts from business via Twitter. Oreo Cookies seemed to produce the best campaign, suggesting that “you can still dunk in the dark!” This real-time advert received over 16,000 retweets and over 6,000 favourites and considering that the average number of followers a ‘Tweeter’ has (126), the advert was potentially seen by over 2million people in a matter of seconds!
Not only is Twitter a tool that business can use for advertisement purposes, it also offers free market research and consumer feedback. Businesses can attempt to create a ‘trend’ such as Samsung’s “#ItWouldBeCoolfPhones..” in order to stimulate thoughts and creations that are directly from the customer. This provides visual information as to where the company should focus their next product. This hashtag actually helped Samsung to successfully create iPhone’s biggest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S3. Furthermore, trending topics can help businesses to see what is being said about their newly launched product. For example “#Windows8” allowed Microsoft to analyse why it was that their launch of the their new software fell flat. The hashtag model that is most widely associated with Twitter is the very thing that set the network apart from other social websites such as Facebook. Facebook’ usage is declining purely to the limited functions on the website. The desperate addition of shameless, irrelevant advertisement on Facebook implores users to fall out of love with their News Feed. Furthermore, Facebook has limited connection to the rest of the world; only selected friends can engage in conversation whereas Twitter’s hashtags allow each person’s opinions to be available to a wider audience.
Why is this information relevant to you, you ask? Well, Twitter is a marketing tool that is not only for large corporations, it can be used effectively by the individual. Creating a self brand can result in internet fame which can be extremely impressive to employers looking for skills such as communication, confidence and self monitoring. More simply, Twitter can advertise your best assets on a day to day basis and as previously alluded to, this is far more revealing than a wooden, paper, old-fashioned resumé. And so, I would advise all Twitter users to grasp the proverbial tail feathers of the social media as digital marketing flies into the forefront of all major economies all over the world.