10th March 2015
-This agency questions Twitter’s value for most businesses
There is no denying the importance and relevance of social media to business. As social media becomes increasingly central to the lives of users it becomes an increasingly important communication tool for business. Internet users now spend more time on social media than any other online activity. People under 35 are the most frequent social media users spending on average 30% of all of their time on the internet on social media platforms.
How does social media benefit your business?
The question we try to answer for our clients is how to best utilise social media. This is obviously a horses for courses question. Different business will have different needs, wants and desired outcomes. Generally, though, the desired benefits of this process are a mix of qualitative and quantitative gains for the business. Qualitative gains being in areas like brand awareness, positive brand perception and developing strong relationships with clients. Quantitative gains are more related to lead generation, sales and contact/personal detail form submissions. Obviously we have found both are important and interrelated, with one affecting the other and vice versa.
So if social media is used well, the more engagement with users and interaction a business can generate the more qualitative benefits it should see as well. Ranging from something as simple as to traffic to a web page, increased information database of target markets, through to conversions and lead generation.
Not on Twitter though:
This assumption has more or less rung true for this agency and it’s clients over the years. Except on Twitter. On average Twitter has a click through rate of less than 0.5%. Even an incredibly well engaged tweet which gains hundreds of thousands of impressions does not generate clicks through to a website.
This is because Twitter is used as a source of information/entertainment in itself, users log into Twitter to read tweets, share them and favourite them, it’s all about the conversation happening on the platform. Users access Twitter intending to stay on Twitter and engage with what is happening on there rather than be informed about and lead to other parts of the web from the platform.
Whereas other platforms, such as Facebook are often used as portals to the rest of the web. Facebook is a source of links and suggestions of content to engage with throughout the web. People log into Facebook looking to be directed to other parts of the web by their friends family and brands that they follow or are advertised. This is reflected in our higher click through rates on Facebook and the larger share of traffic to sites generated by Facebook.
Certainly for a very large company or businesses within specific industries (often ones which have a high public/media profile) Twitter is a worthwhile platform to be included in a marketing mix. For many businesses though, we believe a better ROI from social media marketing can be developed on other platforms.