With the introduction of Snapchat, Instagram stories and soon-to-be-available-to-brands Facebook stories, I see a lot of chatter online about whether Twitter is still ‘worth’ the time investment. The frustration with Twitter’s time investment is not new. Since the beginning of the fast-paced platform, marketers have often questioned whether the lifespan of a tweet (2.5 minutes) is worth the time that goes into creating it and then creating the next one a half of a second later. Eleven years after Twitter's creation, we now are presented with new networks with new audiences where some of us, to be quite honest, would rather be spending our time. Now, if this was pre-President Trump era, and we were having this conversation a couple of years ago, I would say that Twitter probably is not worth the investment. However, President Trump has done Twitter a great service and now more people are signing up for the platform than ever before. So the question you have to ask isn’t whether or not you should be on Twitter, but rather, where is your audience? If you are a brand that has anything to do with the news cycle these days, then you better sure as hell be on Twitter. If you’re a brand that is all about marketing cosmetics to pre-teens and Millennials, then maybe not.
Twitter is a crucial vehicle for the organization I work for, and no matter what great new thing Instagram develops, Twitter will remain a crucial vehicle for us. It’s where journalists live, and it’s where people are looking for our news updates. Now, that doesn’t mean we ignore Instagram stories. In fact, you can read about some lessons we have learned from using Instagram stories here: 5 Tips To Effectively Use Instagram Stories. It just means we are going to continue to reserve most of our resources for Twitter, rather than Instagram. How did we get to this decision? → By looking at where our audience lives and how important it is to reach one audience versus another.
Here are five reasons most brands should still be allocating resources for Twitter:
It’s Where The Leader Of Our Nation Lives
President Trump’s use of the platform has put Twitter in front of eyes it has never been put in front of before. When CNN screenshots one of his statements from Twitter, you better bet there is an entirely new audience being exposed to the platform. This translates to an even larger audience for you to get your tweets in front of. Since even before November, the world has an entirely new view of social media, particularly Twitter, thanks to President Trump’s constant use of the platform to share important information. Whether you support President Trump, or not, in the social media world he has done nothing but ensure that social media will continue to be an important place for information moving forward.
It Is Fast
When you need to get information out to your audience fast, no other platform beats Twitter. You get it out fast, a journalist picks it up fast, and a screenshot of your brand’s tweet ends up in the media → fast. If you are a brand that values earned media, you absolutely have to be on Twitter. Twitter is the new press box for journalists. It has even gotten to the point where screenshots of tweets are an approved method of communicating a brand’s viewpoint in an article.
No Other Platform Can Beat Its Organic Targeting
I fell in love with Twitter the moment I started having one-on-one conversations with influencers in social media, when I only had 73 followers. Twitter has a way of removing the barriers of hierarchy and providing direct access to anyone and everyone. There is something about a public tweet addressing someone else that yearns for a response, and a quick one at that. If you truly want to connect your brand with influencers in its space, Twitter is the place to do it.
You could argue that you could just as easily contact an influencer via Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, but there is something about the Twitter community that demands an answer and attention unlike any other social media platform.
It Elevates Important Messages
Continuing along the thread that the Twitter community demands attention --> this demand, combined with the fast pace of the platform, creates a dynamic in which truly important messages are elevated quickly. This of course translates to more people seeing your content, which is the goal, isn’t it?
It is 24/7
Now, if you are a social media manager like me, this can actually be a reason to NOT want to use Twitter. Especially when you are responding to breaking news at late hours on a Saturday night. However, this actually is advantageous for a brand. Twitter has found a way to supercede its competitors by creating a truly international community that is always-on. Personally, I have followers from all over the world that engage with my content at all hours. It’s definitely not the same for my branded Facebook page and IG account. This is a pro that is incredibly important to keep in mind if you are an international brand.
Hopefully, my five pros of using Twitter answered the question of whether Twitter is worth it or not. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, none of these valuable reasons to use Twitter matter if your audience is not on Twitter. Before you decide whether or not Twitter is worth it for your brand, do a deep dive of your audience and decide who you concretely want to be targeting on social media. Then decide how you are going to divide your resources between networks.
Do you have other reasons you find Twitter to be ‘worth’ it? Or, do you not actually find Twitter worth it at all? Leave your answer in the comments!
- Marji J. Sherman