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The Importance Of Twitter As The Social Media For Business

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Twitter is an online microblogging site/social network where users can instantly compose and share messages, called “tweets”, in 280 characters or less. Twitter was founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams (Skemp, 2019). On Twitter, each user has a profile that can be viewed and followed by anyone if their profile is public, users also have the option of making their profile private and only those approved can follow and view their content. One big feature Twitter is known for is hashtags, which, with the use of the “#” symbol followed by any word, allows users to connect and talk about a specific thing. Twitter also features, “Trending Topics” which highlight current topics of discussion and popular hashtags (Skemp). As of 2018, Twitter has around 321 million active users (Twitter, Inc, 2019). Twitter allows for users to connect with celebrities, musicians, politicians, and companies. Some of the most notable users of Twitter include Chrissy Teigen, Ariana Grande, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

One major benefit for users of Twitter is the ability to connect and engage with other users from all over the world at once. Users can talk to each other about the latest episode of their favorite show, discuss a presidential debate, or even share updates on an emergency within seconds. Users are also able to receive the latest information regarding breaking news stories much faster than traditional media outlets. Twitter also provides an outlet for users to share their talents such as singing, dancing, writing, and so much more.

Twitter makes money from advertising, promoted accounts and trends, and data licensing. About 86% of Twitter’s revenue is from advertisements (Beers, 2018). In 2010, Twitter began to offer companies the ability to purchase “promoted tweets” which allow for certain tweets to appear in search results or on a user’s timeline if the product is relevant to the user. In 2016, Twitter launched the “Instant Unlock Card” which is promoted content that features a button usually stating if you click it, you will tweet about a brand and instantly unlock some type of reward, usually exclusive content that can only be unlocked if you tweet about a brand (Twitter, 2019). Twitter’s ads and promoted tweets are personalized to each user, and if users do not wish to see certain ads, they are able to hide the ad. If you are a brand or company, you can reach specific demographics to ensure your ads reach people who are likely to buy your product.

Twitter allows for brands and companies to engage with consumers in an authentic way. The website allows for brands to share information about their latest product, answer questions, or take part in playful banter with consumers or even other brands. Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Apple, and Netflix are popular users on Twitter because of their creative, fun, and engaging tweets. On Twitter, a brand/company can also search their name and see what users are saying about their company and take ideas or criticism into consideration. For example, Amazon does not have a live chat on their website, but they do have a Twitter account specifically to help consumers with any issues they may have. Another benefit is, with the use of hashtags, a brand/company can instantly create a campaign to gain attention and potentially trend on Twitter. About any industry can thrive on Twitter if they use it to their full advantage, because even though the use of Twitter does not automatically mean an increase in sales, it does get a product into consumers heads. When consumers decide to buy or use a specific brand, they will have the idea of the one they see being advertised or engaging with users on Twitter.

Two successful campaigns through Twitter include Always’ “#LikeAGirl” campaign and Nike’s #Breaking2 campaign. In 2014, the feminine hygiene products brand, Always, uploaded the “Like a Girl” social experiment video on their YouTube channel and thus launched the “#LikeAGirl” campaign. The first half of the video featured many different people acting out actions such as running, throwing, or fighting “like a girl.” These actions were initially acted out in a silly or weak way. The second half of the video featured young girls who were asked to perform the same actions “like a girl.” Rather than perform the actions in a weak way, the young girls performed the actions to their best ability without holding anything back. At the end of the video, girls (and boys) were encouraged to use the hashtag #LikeAGirl to share the incredible things they or other women do (Always, 2014). According to Always, “the program garnered more than 290 million social impressions and 133 thousand social mentions with #LikeAGirl (99% positive/neutral) in the US alone.” In addition, the campaign also managed to increase Always Twitter followers by 195.3%.

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In 2017, Nike decided to use Twitter’s live video feature powered by Periscope by streaming their attempt at breaking the world marathon record. Nike teamed up with three marathon runners, Lelisa Desisa, Eliud Kipchoge, and Zersanay Tadese and they had to run 42 kilometers in less than 2 hours to break the record. The hashtag used for the event was #Breaking2. In order to be notified of the event the second it started to stream, all users had to do was like or retweet the #Breaking2 tweet put out by Nike. Through Twitter, users were able to watch the live stream and chat with other users watching the event. While the record was not technically broken, the event became Twitter’s biggest-ever brand-driven, live-streaming event (Natividad, 2017).

Because Twitter allows for messages to be sent out to an audience immediately, you run the risk of damaging your credibility if you were to send out misinformation, because once it is posted then it gets shared, screenshotted, and talked about. Another issue is many brands on Twitter try to appeal to audiences by tweeting relatable or funny tweets. This can be a hit or miss for any brand. Sometimes they come off as cringeworthy or even insensitive and suddenly a brand finds themselves dealing with damage control. User error in general is the biggest risk with using Twitter. You must be mindful of what you like or retweet or even who or what you respond to.

In 2012, a hashtag intending to promote Susan Boyle’s album release trended for all the wrong reasons. The hashtag, which was meant to be read as #SusanAlbumParty, was seen as #susanalbumparty and Twitter users instantly made a mockery of the hashtag because of the alternative words that could be picked out within the phrase. The original tweet was deleted and changed to #SusanBoylesAlbumParty, but the damage was done, and the internet was not going to let Susan Boyle’s PR team forget it. Multiple memes and trolling ensued seconds after the hashtag was used, and rather than a celebration, the entire campaign was used to mock Susan Boyle and her PR teams flub (Kolowich, 2017).

In 2014, the hashtag #myNYPD was tweeted out by the New York Police Department news twitter account. The hashtag was meant for users to share positive images of citizens with members of the New York Police Department. However, Twitter users used the hashtag to share images of police brutality instead (Oh, 2014). The New York Police Department did not take into consideration just how quickly social media can turn something seemingly positive against you.

These two examples show that the use of the hashtag must be viewed from all angles. The Susan Boyle incident was a poor word choice and lack of capitalization and the NYPD did not consider how trolls could hijack the hashtag and use it against them.

I recommend the use of Twitter for any brand or company’s social media efforts. Twitter allows for consumers to connect to a brand or company instantly with questions, comments, or concerns. The site has many different options for a company to promote themselves in order to reach a wide or specific audience. And finally, Twitter brings more visibility to your company. Your company will show up in more search results and if you have successful interactions with users, people will talk about your company more and share the interaction on other social media platforms.

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The Importance Of Twitter As The Social Media For Business. (2021, September 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-twitter-as-the-social-media-for-business/
“The Importance Of Twitter As The Social Media For Business.” Edubirdie, 28 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-twitter-as-the-social-media-for-business/
The Importance Of Twitter As The Social Media For Business. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-twitter-as-the-social-media-for-business/> [Accessed 5 Dec. 2022].
The Importance Of Twitter As The Social Media For Business [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 28 [cited 2022 Dec 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-importance-of-twitter-as-the-social-media-for-business/
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