Twitter: Social Media Dinosaur or vibrant and useful platform?

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Back in September (2017) I came across this article from The Telegraph about Twitter’s plans to double the length of tweets. And I did a little happy dance around my office in celebration of this news.

From its launch eleven years ago, Twitter’s character limit has remained at 140 characters.  Though In 2016 it made changes to make pictures, quoted tweets and polls exempt from the character limit. This move gave the platform much more flexibility.

As it happens, I like Twitter and have used it for some time now. Others have relished the 140-character limit, but I’ve found its constraints a challenge. Too much to say in too little space. I’ve had to junk articles and most punctuation! So, for me and my clients, 280 characters equates to release from chafing shackles!

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea

Now I do a lot of networking. I enjoy this activity – after all you never know where your next client might be.

At a recent networking event, I spoke to a lady with a rather strong anti-Twitter opinion. ‘I don’t like it, I don’t see the point of it and I’m not going to use it’. ‘oh well’ I thought, as I skulked away, ‘there’s nothing I can say to make you change your mind then.’  Yet the conversation did get me thinking: Is Twitter so bad?

No, no, no, no, no, no! Far from it. Not everyone likes Facebook or LinkedIn after all.

Twitter benefits

Twitter has a great many advantages:

  • Fast access to a wide audience. If you prefer Twitter why deprive your business of that extra audience? Especially when it’s a free platform.
  • It allows for pithy messages and images that tell a story or catch attention rather than being mere decoration.
  • It’s a database, a mine of current information, and a news room. If you will, it’s a directory or even a parallel Internet.
  • The # on Twitter is what powers it all. You can search for a house using #forsale, #tolet or #torent. You can even find your next employer via Twitter.

Examining my client’s KPIs, it’s clear to see where Twitter should be the chosen platform.

For some time now, I’ve followed the Twitter account of a social media guru called Gary Vaynerchuk. As far as I’m concerned, he’s #MrCommonSense apropos of social media.

He’s created a useful infographic, how to use Twitter like an expert, that gives a helpful insight into what Twitter is good for.

For my money, if an expert social media practitioner like Gary still uses Twitter then that’s good enough for me.

Twitter is not dead yet

Mark Twain is famously alleged to have said: ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’, in response to his obituary appearing in a newspaper. We can say the same for Twitter.

This article from Forbes poses the question ‘How is Twitter still alive?’

Speed is one of the reasons the article puts forth for Twitter’s continued appeal. With Twitter, a new message is created and posted in a matter of moments.

That makes it easy to dive into new conversations and find new material to read. And when it comes to observing events unfolding in real time, Twitter is hard to beat.

As a marketer, Twitter helps me to build bigger followings.

For these reasons and more then, my experience of this platform continues to be positive. Which is why I’m still recommending it to my clients.

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