Small Business – Who Uses Twitter And Should You Care?

Top People on Twitter

Twitter When one sees that the top three folks with the most Twitter followers  are the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Kate Barry, it is understandable why most small business people don’t feel Twitter is worth a tweet.

However, that would not be an objective analysis.

Twitter is more than just a megaphone for Lady Gaga to talk to her little monsters. Twitter has evolved from a experiment in mass communications to a primary source for the most recent news – from the overthrow of governments, to the most recent political embarrassment, to earth shattering news in Japan, to shifts in our society and culture.

Yes, there is a lot of useless stuff posted on Twitter, but it also serves as an immediate way to reach one’s audience, particularly if that audience is already active on Twitter or is a smartphone user.

As a small business owner, you need to take a look at the facts.

According to a Twitter Usage Study by Pew 

In November, 2010, only 8% of online adults (80% of US Adults are online) said they used Twitter.  In February of 2012, usage has almost doubled to 15%.  That is approximately 34 million US adults online based on 2008 Census.

The percentage of Twitter users who tweet on a typical day, has nearly quadrupled, from 2% to 8% during the same time frame.

Twitter Usage Over Time

Let’s look at how Twitter Adoption has become a touch older over time. What was a thing for those 18-24, is spreading into older age categories (e.g. 25-34 and 35-44).

Twitter Usage Over Time

We also know geography plays a role in how social media savvy a community is and it may impact the type of social media most preferred.  Although I haven’t found any data to support this premise, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find West and East coast differences in Twitter usage.

Who actually tweets?  According to the Pew study, the measurable differences lie in age (18-29 years of age), ethnicity (Black & Non-Hispanic) residing in either Urban or Suburban settings.

Who Uses TwitterThe study also showed that there is a strong correlation between Twitter usage and smartphone ownership.  As smartphone ownership increases, there is a good chance that Twitter usage will also grow over time.

To find out more about this recent study, you’ll need to visit the Pew Internet site covering the Twitter study highlights.

Is Twitter For Your Business? 

I don’t have an answer to that question, but you do.  Think about your audience.  Think about their demographics.  Do they fall between the ages of 18 and 44?  Are they moving up to smartphones?   If so, there is a chance that a percentage of your audience are Twitter users.

Is that audience sufficient for you to invest your time on Twitter?  Again, I can’t answer that, but your customers can.  So, ask them.  See if your competitors hang out on Twitter.  See what they’re doing and make a decision.

I am not one of those who believes small business owners need to be everywhere in the social media world.  I encourage small business owners to select one or maybe two social media platforms based upon the target audience and where it hangs out.

Better to be savvy about one social media platform than mediocre at many.

Share your thoughts about Twitter and whether you think it is worth an investment of your time in the comments section below.

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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