Social media presence has become an important part of marketing initiatives by businesses in the digital age. While Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter are the leading social media platforms to engage users on, it can be argued that Twitter is the least useful out of those four leading platforms, although it still has features that will benefit any organization in their promotional efforts.

Reasons why Twitter falls short

The biggest gripe that I have with Twitter involves post permanence. Twitter’s purpose is to create posts in 140 characters or less. This character limit encourages users to send out multiple tweets in a short period of time, which tend to be buried in a newsfeed given how many tweets are sent out by other users in the same fashion. Over the past year or so I have made 1,531 tweets; this is a conservative amount compared to other users.

It’s a great platform to send out time-sensitive information quickly, but it’s debatable on how far a tweet spreads organically, or without promotion. I have 440 followers, yet my posts often receive 70-100 impressions with few engagements.

My personal anecdote might fall somewhat short considering my tweets don’t specifically target my followers, but it shows that a tweet has a short shelf-life. You have a very limited amount of time for your tweet to reach your audience before it disappears into the virtual ether amidst hundreds of other similar tweets.

Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, calculated that social media users spend the following amount of time on social media:

  • 40 minutes on Youtube
  • 35 minutes on Facebook
  • 25 minutes on Snapchat
  • 15 minutes on Instagram
  • 1 minute on Twitter.

Based on these numbers, your tweet needs to be at the top of someone’s newsfeed within one minute when they log on if it has any chance of being read.

Twitter doesn’t have the permanence that other platforms do. Given its character limit, it also doesn’t provide enough engaging posts to keep users on the platform for long, or offer users incentive to engage beyond favorites and retweets.

Reasons to use Twitter

Despite my reasoning for Twitter falling short in marketing and brand initiatives, it should still be incorporated into most businesses’ social media strategies.

Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms with an average 320 million active monthly users. Most businesses are using the platform, so your business should also be using it depending on your target audience. It doesn’t cost anything to create an account or upload content.

Because of how quickly users can craft and send a tweet, it’s a great method for getting the message out. Businesses can also advertise on Twitter and promote their tweets, allowing them to more easily engage with the potential audiences that they want to engage with. Speaking of engagement, Twitter Chats and utilization of hashtags are creative ways of building a community and interacting in a two-way symmetrical model of communication.

Twitter is a great marketing tool because tweets are indexed by Google, allowing for search engine optimization and better results for your business. It also adds more authenticity and legitimacy to your brand when it has multiple social media channels that provide consistent content. According to Market Hub, “60 percent of a brand’s followers are more likely to perform purchases or recommend products after following the brand on Twitter. To make things even juicier, 50 percent of the followers are actually more likely to buy or sign up for services from the brands they follow.”

Final Verdict

Twitter is still a good social media platform, but it needs to be used correctly. I’ve witnessed many small organizations abandon their accounts after a month of inconsistent posting and not having a target audience. I don’t feel as though Twitter is as good of a platform as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube to promote and publish content, but it’s still a useful tool for any marketing or branding initiative if a company understands the weaknesses of the platform while playing to its strengths.