A. Defining the social media channel
Twitter is an online social networking service that allows users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website, Short Message Service (SMS) available in certain countries or mobile device app.
Users may subscribe to other users’ tweets, which is known as “following” and subscribers are known as “followers”. Individual tweets can be forwarded by other users to their own feed, a process known as a “retweet”. Users can also “like” individual tweets.
Users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags. The “@” sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to other users.
A word, phrase or topic that is mentioned at more than others is called a “trending topic”. Trending topics become popular either through a group effort by users, or because of an event that prompts people to talk about a specific topic. These topics help Twitter and their users to understand what is happening in the world and what people’s opinions are about it.
In late 2009, a “Twitter Lists” feature was added, which allowed users to follow ad hoc lists of authors instead of individual authors. On October 21, 2015, Twitter began to roll out the ability to attach poll questions to tweets. Polls are open for 24 hours, and voters are not personally identified.
Twitter began as an idea that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@Jack) had in 2006 during a brainstorming session at the podcasting company Odeo. Dorsey had originally introduced the idea of Twitter as an SMS-based communications platform.
The original project code name for the service was twttr, which was an inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The decision was also partly due to the fact that domain twitter.com was already in use, but six months after the launch of twttr the domain name was purchased and changed to Twitter.
The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and a contractor named Florian Weber, was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006.
The company experienced rapid initial growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. This grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications. As of June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter. As of March 2011, that was about 140 million tweets posted daily.
From September through October 2010, the company began rolling out “New Twitter”, an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com. Changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving Twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including YouTube and Flickr. Also a complete overhaul of the interface, which shifted links such as ‘@mentions’ and ‘Retweets’ above the Twitter stream, while ‘Messages’ and ‘Log Out’ became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com. The company confirmed that the “New Twitter experience” had been rolled out to all users as of November 1, 2010.
On December 8, 2011, Twitter overhauled its website once more to feature the “Fly” design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow and promotes advertising. On June 5, 2012, a modified logo was unveiled through the company blog, removing the text to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of Twitter. On December 18, 2012, Twitter announced it had surpassed 200 million monthly active users.
C. Who Uses the Channel (Target Market)
Of Twitter’s 271 million active users in 2014, 95 million were between the ages of 18 and 29. The site is also popular with older adults, with 54 million users between the ages of 30 and 59, and 44 million over the age of 50.
Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. The majority of regular Twitter users are male. The percentage of users with college educations and incomes over $50,000 is much higher than those of Facebook or Instagram. Twitter users are also quite diverse, with 20% of online Caucasians and 28% of online blacks and Hispanics being regular visitors.
D. How to Use the Channel
Here’s a video that gives technical instructions on how to use Twitter:
E. Built in Analytic Tools
Twitter has built in analytics to measure and boost your impact on Twitter. Twitter Analytics lets you measure engagement and learn how to make your Tweets more successful. You can explore the interests, locations, and demographics of your followers and track how your Twitter Cards drive clicks, app installs, and Retweets.
F. Business Models for the Channel
On April 13, 2010, Twitter announced plans to offer paid advertising for companies that would be able to purchase “promoted tweets” to appear in selective search results on Twitter’s website.
In April 2013, Twitter announced that its Twitter Ads self-service platform, consisting of promoted tweets and promoted accounts, was available to all U.S. users.
G. Strengths, Weaknesses and Example
- Communicate with audience instantly
- Great way to research audience
- Network efficiently with a large group of people
For example Twitter polls that allows feedback in 24hrs.
- Number one spam site
- Limited to 140 characters
- Can become addictive
Keeping up with everything going on in your timeline can become very distracting.
H. Channel Integration
Many companies use Twitter as a one-way broadcast of corporate news, while customers may prefer to get support or request features. In other words, customers want have a conversation on social media.
Using Slack to track every Twitter mention of a company’s @username is a good way to gain insight into how (and how often) customers talk to and about a company. It also means the team can talk about the best way to answer a tweet in your Slack channels before they “tag in” to answer publicly on Twitter.
Twitter integration is a powerful tool for a company and the setup process takes just a couple of minutes to complete.
LinkedIn has a specific application called Tweets that can help you keep tabs on the Twitter updates from your LinkedIn connections.
The primary benefits of the LinkedIn Tweets application are:
- Follow your LinkedIn connections on Twitter
- Post status updates simultaneously to both Twitter and LinkedIn
- Monitor and interact with your Twitter streams from within LinkedIn
- Create a LinkedIn-specific Twitter list
I. Articles or Website
Here is an article on How to Find Great Content to Share on Twitter:
Here are 5 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Business:
“Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Business – ABUS4023twitter2.” Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Business – ABUS4023twitter2. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://sites.google.com/site/abus4023twitter2/home/using-twitter-for-business/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-using-twitter-for-business>.
Graden, Kyle. “Advertising Insights: Personalization Benefits, Twitter User Demographics, Salesforce Ads on Instagram.” Salesforce Blog. N.p., 02 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/09/advertising-insights-personaliztion-benefits.html>.
MacArthur, Amanda. “The History of Twitter You Didn’t Know.” About.com Tech. N.p., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://twitter.about.com/od/Twitter-Basics/a/The-Real-History-Of-Twitter-In-Brief.htm>.
Sammons, Stephanie. “How to Use LinkedIn With Twitter for Better Networking : Social Media Examiner.” Social Media Examiner. N.p., 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-linkedin-with-twitter-for-better-networking/>.
Sheley, Brandon. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Twitter for Internet Marketing.” Brandon Sheley. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.brandonsheley.org/advantages-disadvantages-twitter-internet-marketing/>.
“Twitter Analytics.” Twitter Analytics. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://analytics.twitter.com/about>.
Walton, Justin. “Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. Instagram: Who Is the Target Audience?” Investopedia. N.p., 02 Oct. 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/100215/twitter-vs-facebook-vs-instagram-who-target-audience.asp>.