Many businesses have undoubtedly asked themselves the question as they try and determine the advantages to having a Twitter account.
According to research from tracking site Twopcharts.com, Twitter is closing in on surpassing the population of the United States, having recently topped 302 million accounts (estimated to reach 400 million accounts over the next four to five months). A 2009 Census report estimated the nation’s population to be at 307,006,550.
Now before Twitter throws itself a party to celebrate this milestone, keep in mind that many of those accounts (Twitter says it adds 9.1 accounts per second) are rarely and sometimes never utilized. Just because someone registers for an account doesn’t mean they’re putting it to use.
Produced and launched in 2006, Twitter reportedly generates some 65 million daily tweets, with the U.S. contributing less than 10 percent of those tweets. While an estimated 65 million daily tweets is a large number, remember it doesn’t mean there are 65 million individuals tweeting daily. The simple fact is many users tweet numerous times on a daily basis.
According to research from Gawker, a large volume of registered Twitter users are inactive zombies or mute.
The 21 million or so active users on Twitter are not exactly bringing in big dollars for the company, given that Twitter’s reported revenue in 2010 was a mere $45 million. That figure pales in comparison to the reported $2 billion Facebook made last year.
So, with the data in front of us, should your business be using Twitter to communicate if it is not already? The first step is to determine how you would use Twitter and what your long-term goals are with the tool.
Some companies use it to market their products and services, others use it for customer feedback, and still others will post company information and provide links back to corporate web pages. That last part is good, provided your company does not damage its reputation in the process. Too much self-serving, self-promoting can lead to turning off both potential and present customers.
Your business can also use Twitter as a listening device, obtaining valuable community feedback. Using options such as search.twitter.com and Tweet Deck.com, your company can record what is being said regarding the company, your products, and your respective industry in general.
If your company doesn’t have a Twitter or general social media policy in place for that matter, now is the time to do so.
Besides, what company and its employees want to be thought of as inactive zombies?