March 21, 2013 marked exactly seven years since Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sent out the first-ever tweet, on what would become one of the most powerful and influential social media networks in the world. The message read “just setting up my twttr”—24 characters that have been “favorited” more than 10,000 times and retweeted more than 11,000, though most of the activity has been in response to Twitter’s 7th anniversary.
When Twitter was first launched, people didn’t think much of the platform. After all, how much can you say in 140 characters—and more importantly, why would you? But the idea caught on fast, and by the end of 2012, according to research site Statistic Brain:
- There are more than 500 million active Twitter users
- 150,000 new Twitter accounts are created every day
- The average number of tweets per day is 55 million
- There are 8,900 tweets per second
- The Twitter search engine processes 1.6 billion search queries per day
- Twitter is among the top 10 most visited Internet sites
How to harness the power of Twitter
Twitter can be a highly effective marketing platform for your business—if you use it right. Here are a few tips on making Twitter work for you.
- Content is king. In the beginning, a lot of people thought Twitter would be used to tell everyone what you had for dinner. But because of the immediate nature and powerful sharing options of the social network, it’s now the fastest way to spread news and updates around the globe. However, that means you need to tweet about things that are worth sharing.
Make sure to offer links to relevant, interesting content—both your own, and articles or posts from other industry sources. The more engaging and useful content you can provide, the more people will follow you so they don’t miss anything.
- Supplement your customer service. Twitter is a great way to truly connect with your customers and prospects, but only if you engage them. Use your Twitter feed to communicate directly with your customers, and ask for feedback on what they’d like to see from you.
You can also use services like TweetBeep or Twilert to receive notifications whenever your company or brand is mentioned on Twitter, so you can respond quickly and accordingly.
- Mobilize your tweets. Statistic Brain reports that 41 percent of Twitter users, or around 200 million, use the platform on their mobile phones. You can reach these users directly with the option on Twitter that allows your tweets to be sent to your followers as a text. There’s no need to sign up for this service—any follower who has subscribed to your feed via mobile will automatically receive alerts.
Consider tweeting occasional mobile-only discount offers and promotions to increase the number of followers who sign up for your mobile feed. This will help you spread your message faster, and get more followers.