Just saw this great visualization on Flickr created by David McCandless. It displays a microcosm of what microblogging activity would look like if Twitter had only 100 users. The data is collected from a study completed by social media monitoring company Sysomos, and commented on by marketing guru Rohit Bhargava.
Essentially, it tells us that lots of people have created an account on Twitter but just as Twitter’s own Evan Williams recently stated there’s a long way to go for the enthusiasm to match engagement.
Rohit’s write-up provides great commentary on the conclusions presented in the study and is definitely worth a read to anyone interested in understanding what’s really happening in Twitter world.
- 21% (One Fifth) of Twitter accounts are empty placeholders
- Nearly 94% of all Twitter accounts have less than 100 followers
- March and April of 2009 were the tipping point for Twitter
- A small minority creates most of the activity
- Half of all Twitter users are not “active”
- Tuesday is the most active Twitter day (followed by Wednesday then Friday)
- APIs have been the key to Twitter’s growth & utility
- English still dominates Twitter
The study presents companies and brands with something to think about. What’s the value of Twitter, or really social media in general? I’ve previously posted that it’s understanding, strategy, and related action that determines business success in social media, and not simply jumping on the bandwagon of being ‘present’. The Sysomos study suggests that if you’re looking to connect with and communicate with your audience and consumers then you need to do what good marketing has always done; provide something valuable that people that people will love, enjoy, and share with friends.
So what’s the secret to success of Twitter? It’s not a secret at all. It’s what works in any marketing medium:
A) Give something great to the world
B) Put your customers first
C) Reach the loud mouths and let them speak (just do A and B so they love you first)!
When it comes to getting your message across, the difference between social media vs. traditional marketing methods is really that you’re not in control of what responses the world will see. Plus, you don’t have to be present on Twitter or Facebook to actually be on Twitter or Facebook. People will talk about you and share their ideas with or without you. The only thing you can really control is your value.
So, don’t fret about your social media status. Have a presence, understand your audience, and know what the chatter is about, but don’t get caught up in mass following, tweeting at 3am, or having lots of friends. Concentrate on doing something great that people will love and you’ll be a social media darling whether you like it or not!