I have to confess — I’m not a huge Twitter fan and I’m not sure I understand it, but here’s what I do know.
- Twitter is the fastest growing social networking platform
- Twitter has almost 200 million users, although some argue there are only 1.5 million active users
- According to an answer on Quora, there are over 110 Million tweets a day.
- If you do the math, that’s about 73 tweets per day per active user.
- Tweets can only be 140 characters each
Taken together, you see why I’m somewhat disillusioned with Twitter — there are a few folks out there tweeting a lot (much of it trivial) in very small chunks.
How do you build relationships on Twitter?
This is a question I posed to my students — 20 something, affluent, African Americans who spend WAY too much time Tweeting (rather than studying). Here’s the answer I got:
Rather than a social network,
Twitter is really a glorified text messaging service
They send tweets directed at another user (using the @username), the user responds, and they respond back — in essence texting except their texts are PUBLIC.
Yeah, that way we can overhear other conversations and jump in if we want.
They get around the 140 character limit through creative language usage — similar to that used in mobile texting. And with smartphones, they’re getting these Tweets on their mobile device.
How do businesses use Twitter effectively?
Forget about talking. Twitter is about listenting.
An example they gave is a friend who had eaten at Chipolte and tweeted that she wished they had one in her town. She got a response from Chipolte saying they were opening one soon and sending her some coupons to try it out.
Twitter is all about complaining.
My students don’t want to hear from companies on Twitter. They may be interested in following celebrity conversations, but they’re not going to follow ANY COMPANY on Twitter. That’s for Facebook (which most of them rarely use — one stated she only logs on long enough to see if anyone has sent her a message through Facebook).
The only thing they’re going to do related to Twitter is complain about a company — AND THEY EXPECT THE COMPANY TO RESPOND IMMEDIATELY.
Do you use Twitter as an important component in your social media strategy?
What have your experiences on Twitter been like?
How can businesses use this information about how users see Twitter to be successful?