chapter 1

Introduction

Twitter for Business

Originally conceived of as a microblogging platform in 2006, Twitter has evolved into a global ecosystem where people and organizations can easily connect, discover and engage. With its 140-character limit, Twitter offers a unique, fast-paced, real-time experience for users.

Due to its real-time nature, Twitter has changed how people communicate, how news breaks and how companies grow. The reach of the platform goes far beyond its active user base too. Anyone who has watched a newscast or read an online article in the past five years has surely seen Tweets embedded into the story, either as a quote or real-time reaction. In 2016, over 332 million active users were Tweeting at a rate of 6,000 Tweets per second. According to Twitter, that adds up to 11 billion Tweet views everyday. It’s important to remember that while there are “only” 332 million active users, a massive audience for the social network exists.

Twitter attracts a lot of negative press due to its comparison with other social networks, most notably Facebook. Those analyses however, fail to recognize the weight and impact Twitter has on information shared through the platform. CNN, famous for its ability to break news on television, now often refers to Tweets from witnesses and key sources in order to develop a story. Twitter has long been the platform of choice for brief, important announcements too, from the Phoenix Mars Lander discovering ice on Mars to Marshawn Lynch’s wordless retirement Tweet. Those, and countless others have sparked conversations that carry on around the world with replies, mentions, retweets and likes.

Brands around the world have picked up on Twitter’s ability to start conversations, address issues in real-time and ultimately act as a brand voice. Companies like Denny’s, Taco Bell and Oreo have seen great success building an audience on Twitter; however, small companies and new brands shouldn’t feel intimidated. The power of Twitter also lies in a company’s ability to find its audience which we’ll explore in greater depth later on. There’s no need to compete with massive global brands when you have a dedicated and engaged community of your own.

Twitter is a social network and a business tool that takes time. You get out of it what you put in. This is a long term brand exercise that will help you build your audience and generate positive sentiment towards your company. In time, you will leverage the power and flexibility of the network in order to sell directly to your followers through Twitter. But first, let’s start with the basics.

Already on Twitter?

Twitter is a popular social network so there’s a decent chance you know and use Twitter. If your profile is up and running and you understand the basics of the platform, read Chapter 2: Identifying Objectives, then skip ahead and start reading at Chapter 5: Engaging on Twitter. That’s where you’re going to get into more details around optimizing marketing efforts and monetizing your strategy.

Next chapter

2. Identifying Objectives

2 min

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