By Sarah Larson
Twitter has had a rough go of it lately.
In the two years since its Nov. 7, 2013 IPO, Twitter’s stock price has fallen and it recently announced it would cut more than 300 jobs as it struggles to find a way to make money. Meanwhile, other younger, prettier social media platforms (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram) have gained ground on Twitter and the two other best-known networks, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Those may be good reasons for you to examine your tech stock portfolio, but it does not mean that your business’ social media strategy should boot the birdie out the door. At least not yet.
If your organization is investing in content marketing, Twitter still should be part of that mix. Here are five reasons why.
Twitter is public. That means anyone who goes to the Twitter app or site can see the photos, status updates, and links that have been shared. Not so on Facebook, where users must create their own profiles before they can see the profiles of others, or LinkedIn, where access to profiles and newsfeeds is very limited if you don’t have an account.
Twitter shows your content to all of your followers. Businesses that use Facebook to connect with customers often are frustrated by the filtering algorithm Facebook uses to decide which posts those customers see. They may have 5,000 “likes,” but they are ecstatic if even 1 out of 10 of those people ever see a given photo, video, or status update. That does not happen on Twitter. Unlike Facebook and some other social media platforms, Twitter does not filter your content in any way. Anyone who is using Twitter and has elected to make your content part of their feed will receive all of your content.
Twitter is easily searchable. The use of hashtags to categorize content ensures that people looking for that type of information will be able to find it. A Twitter user may not follow you directly, but if you’ve posted about #finance or #leadership, #healthcare or #IP, people looking for information related to that topic will be able to find it with a simple hashtag search or follow stream. (For a real-time demonstration of how this works, try following the hashtag of any major sports team’s name during one of its games.)
Twitter is a favorite of journalists. If you are looking to get to know journalists who cover your industry, Twitter can be a powerful research vehicle. Journalists interact there, they look for sources there, and they monitor and contribute to developments in real-time there. Watch for the stories they tweet. Check out their interests. See what hashtags they are using and, if you have relevant observations or content to share, reply to them and use the same hashtag.
Twitter is great for repeated sharing of content. There are 347,222 tweets sent every minute of every hour. That’s 500 million tweets a day. That means that users’ news feeds move quickly and continuously. That enables you to share the same content repeatedly over time, increasing the number of views on each piece of content in your content marketing initiative. Just be sure to space the shares out over time. Scheduling apps and services can help you plan accordingly.
While social media continues to evolve, its use in content marketing changes as well, and PR and marketing professionals need to be prepared to change strategy. For now, though, keeping Twitter in your marketing mix still makes good sense.