Last week a blog post was sent around the office that caused quite a stir. It questioned the relevancy of Twitter for people not in the digital industry / as clued up on the web. You can read the original post in full here.
There were a couple of thought we had on the post so here’s a summary of our thoughts on ‘Will Normal Folk Ever Use Twitter’.
“There are 7.6m new users every month on Twitter – that’s a sizeable amount. It’s not genuinely mainstream and most people aren’t active on it but that’s true for most social sites / tools.
Does it matter? What does ‘active’ mean? Does that mean tweeting? That doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t following lots of people and ‘listening’ which is still valuable for a brand.
I agree that Twitter could do a better job at introducing new users. Perhaps there’s a gap in the market for a tool / app that helps the average person get value out of Twitter. I’d say the value in Twitter is that it represents a high proportion of people who are opinionated and generate word of mouth marketing. News reports are generated on the basis of what’s said on Twitter, regardless of whether it represents the masses or not. Stephen Fry has over a million followers that he was regularly communicating with in a meaningful way – what brand wouldn’t want that? That’s without even mentioning the data you can extract from Twitter and present back to ‘normal’ people without them ever having a Twitter account, a great example is the New York Times. This is where the biggest value lies.
I think we forget what Twitter actually is sometimes – it’s a micro blog. The counterpart, the blog, is not mainstream but is highly valuable to ‘normal’ people based on the applications of the information they contain.”
“Applications like Seesmic Look have supposedly been designed specifically to target the mainstream to sign up to Twitter. But if you’re using Twitter as a brand, it’s not really supposed to be about targeting a mass audience is it. There are lots of other ways to do that.”
“Specific online communities/groups are one of the reasons why social media channels are so inviting to brands and its why we are seeing advertising spend being diverting from mass media to channels that offer engagement with smaller but more targeted audiences. I would agree there is a large number of digitally minded folk on Twitter but so too are there a large number of bloggers, new mothers, journalists, musicians and entrepreneurs; 4,626,500 users on Twitter have categorised themselves as being ‘women’ on WeFollow. These people are all still consumers. Twitter could be said to attract a larger proportion of people who are opinionated and early adopters, which in my opinion presents a fantastic opportunity for brands.”