Still need convincing? Twitter brings you closer. Just as Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo said Tuesday in an interview on NBC’s Today show, Twitter truly brings you closer—and this is beyond just your real-life friends’ goings-on. What Costolo really means is that Twitter brings us closer to our heroes, major news sources, industry experts, celebrities, and more. Now that I’ve actually jumped into the channel, I’m able to make professional connections across the nation, give instant feedback on new products or research, and perpetuate health information to the populations most affected. Narrowing the experience down to these three points that convinced me of Twitter’s validity as a communication platform:
Research: Once you get passed the grammar and syntax errors made in the name of the 140-character limit, Twitter becomes a vast world of free, relevant, and current research that is searchable and fresh! And I’m not the only one abusing the channel for my own selfish need-to-know reasons; according to an infographic from BuySellAds.com:
- 52 percent of Twitter users access the site to stay up-to-date on news.
- 45 percent use the channel for work-related projects.
- Nearly 20 percent use it explicitly for research.
Gone are the days of Googling for hours or feeling behind the times; Twitter offers an interactive, central platform for users to connect with the latest news and trends via a variety of influencers, experts, and regular Joe Shmoe’s.
Multimedia: While at first glance it may seem like a string of nonsense linked together by “#” and “@” symbols,a closer look reveals that Twitter is also a rich compendium of endless photos, videos, and audio and web links. Nearly 30 percent of Twitter users upload videos (that’s 700 million YouTube videos per minute) and 40 percent share photos. But these visuals embedded into tweets aren’t being shared to an empty room and falling flat. The general population—liking photos twice as often as text and sharing videos 12 times more than text—is unable to ignore this type of information that is reformatted visually to tell stories, convey emotion, and paint vivid pictures of reality. (Side note: This uptick in visuals is priceless to health communicators who now know that video is the number one most influential source in changing perceptions in users ages 13–24 years old, according to a recent Google event attended by the Danya team.) The entertainment quality of visual information is hard to deny, but how quickly videos and photos spread across the globe on a platform like Twitter is astounding.
Total integration, real connections: Probably the most convincing aspect of Twitter to me is that now, slightly more than 6 years after its conception, Twitter has a function and purpose. Whereas before people were using it haphazardly with no true goals in mind (other than to adopt the new tool because everyone else was), time and lessons learned have enabled businesses to fully integrate its use into marketing plans for the purpose of genuine engagement with their customers. Local weather forecasters use it to tell those with asthma to stay indoors on a high-smog day; policy makers use it to survey their communities and test initiatives; marketers use it to gauge public response to new products or a company’s reputation. The platform has been successful long enough that executives can see a return on incorporating the tool and its capabilities into all areas of a company: engaging in digital conversations with real people.
Still need a push in Twitter’s direction? Or just want a better understanding of social media in general? Read Part III of this post and join us next Thursday, September 27 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. for Danya’s Social Media Day and help us celebrate the digital revolution!
By Katy Capers