I love twitter and have been tweeting for 4 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 3 hours, 54 minutes, 40 seconds (according to http://howlonghaveyoubeentweeting.com/). It has become an incredible resource for me, I pick up so much, have built relationships online (some people I have been lucky enough to meet offline). I would say that I will still suggest to our clients that we use it….but
I was at a DMI event this morning and when Stephen McIntyre (who seems like a really smart guy) was asked about how many active users were on twitter he said that the twitter policy was not to divide twitter users by region. The only exception they have made was the UK.
This scares me!
The last time I heard figures (and they were guesstimates) about users was a few years ago and the guesses were that there were 200,000 users in Ireland and 10% were active. That’s 20,000 people! If we assume that number has doubled and active users have doubled we are at 80,000 people – a decent number but not critical mass by any stretch.
As a guy who developed a strategy and trained 100 people in a telco on how to use twitter for their business I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bath water, but it does make you wonder are we tweeting blindly – with no real clue of what numbers are really engaged. Yes you can use social monitoring tools to look at who is talking about you etc…but you have to wonder why twitter aren’t being open about their numbers?
So what does all this mean?
Well like I said, I wouldn’t suggest ditch twitter – but maybe you need to work out if its right for you (now). Maybe a place to start is looking at your category – What competitors are up there? what are they up to? what levels of engagement are they experiencing? Perhaps it’s going to make sense for a certain part of your business (customer care – just by the way twitter suggest you dont say you are there 9-5 you should be there 24/7).
I think companies need to look at what twitter is doing for their business against the resources they are putting against it.
The questions answer opened up, for me, a whole host of questions. As a twitter user, I think it’s an amazing platform, but are we tweeting blindly?