Twitter is the 4th most popular social media site in the U.S., with more than 300 million users. Although more than 90 percent of small businesses have a Facebook Page, many hesitate to do the same with Twitter because they think it’s not as useful a tool for their online marketing strategy.
In this article, I’ll explain the pros and cons of using Twitter so you can decide for yourself whether Twitter is a suitable medium for your business.
The Pros of Using Twitter
First, let’s take a look at the benefits of using Twitter for your business. There are several, and they are powerful.
Twitter Is a Global News Channel
Consumers are no longer buying newspapers or turning on their televisions to get the morning news. In fact, 74 percent of all users who access Twitter say they also use it as their daily news source.
Are you a business that produces a lot of industry related news or often releases new products and offers? If so, Twitter is the perfect medium to share and distribute it; a news-hungry audience is already there and waiting for your content.
Twitter is a Free Customer Support Channel
Consumers today are savvy enough to know that if they email a business, it may take 12-48 hours before they receive a reply. On the other hand, a direct message to their Twitter account usually gets answered right away (at least during working hours). One study revealed that 7 out of 10 Twitter users expect a business to reply to their tweet within an hour.
If you have someone on your team who can manage your Twitter account during working hours, you can have them respond to questions and resolve complaints much more quickly than is possible through other types of communication.
It’s Possible to Go Viral
Blog posts, text-based tweets, images, and videos attached to the right hashtags or placed in front of the right people can easily go viral on Twitter. The Twitter community is a lot more interactive because you don’t have to reveal your name or upload your photo to your account.
This added layer of anonymity means more users feel freer to share your content or get involved in conversations. If your business creates thought-provoking blog posts or unique content that your audience values, Twitter is a great way to drive people to your website and improve your brand recognition.
The Cons of Using Twitter
However, in addition to the benefits, there are also several disadvantages to Twitter that make it inappropriate for some businesses. These are discussed in the following sections.
It’s Not Suitable for Professional Businesses
Lawyers, solicitors, dentists, and other businesses that offer a high-end professional service may find it difficult to break into the Twittersphere. Twitter is a micro-blogging network that has a limit of 140 characters. It is tailored more for casual conversations than for complex topics or debates.
If you focus solely on the B2B market, it is much more difficult—though not impossible!—to reach your audience on Twitter than it is if you use Facebook or LinkedIn.
Twitter Ads Are Limited
Unlike Facebook, which offers you numerous ad objectives, targeting options, and even a free library of images, Twitter ads—although still effective—are not yet on the same level.
It is much more difficult to target users based on behaviours and interests, certain Twitter tools are only accessible to U.S. advertisers, and Twitter does not provide you with a lot of user information. This makes it difficult to run a successful Twitter ad if you do not have considerable marketing experience.
Twitter Is Awesome, but It Is not for Everyone
There’s no doubt that Twitter is a powerhouse of a social media platform packed full of useful features and tools for small businesses, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
Ask yourself the following questions when deciding whether Twitter is for you:
- Where does your audience spend time online?
- How many hours can you dedicate to Twitter per week?
- What are your social media goals? Is Twitter the best place to achieve them?
- Do you produce Twitter friendly content?
Every online platform has its pros and cons, but they are subjective and vary by the business. If you are still unsure whether Twitter is right for you, start by doing research on your competitors to see how they are using Twitter to generate leads and sales.
If it is working for them, it can work for you.