Posted September 3, 2010 11:06 am by with 3 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

As I noted in my other post today, Twitter is reporting some serious numbers. 145 million registered users and 300,000 registered apps for those users just to name a few. In the end though it’s just noise unless people are actually using the service.

According to research from Royal Pingdom the increase in number of accounts is translating to usage rates climbing as well.

About the numbers the Pingdom people state

Twitter processed 2.64 billion tweets this August, an increase of 33% over May. Not a bad increase over just a summer. In August, an average of 85 million tweets passed through Twitter every day.

And if you look at the whole year so far, the increase is even more impressive. Activity on Twitter has already more than doubled this year (August had 115% more tweets than January).

As always raw aggregate numbers are interesting but the real need is to understand the how’s and why’s related to that usage. As marketers it’s important not to get into the same game that TV did for years talking about how many eyeballs they delivered but then when pressed for specifics the dance started. The details of the reasons for using the service are much more important than the big numbers.

What if most of that usage came from people who are in the social media industry and were not people who would be prospects or potential retail buyers of a product or service? A lot of activity but no real value, right?

I often wonder if Twitter isn’t going to just become a holding pen of sorts for PR players who put out information to the social media hangers on that use the service the most. Sure they buy things too but that becomes a niche market for actual buyers because their total numbers are completely disproportionate to their use of the service.

What it does become is a great place to get the word out to people who are desperate to stand out and will promote virtually anything to feel important. Who says feeding on people’s insecurities isn’t a viable strategy?

So go ahead and tell us your opinion of Twitter with regard to how effective it is for marketers. Forget the big numbers just talk about the potential bottom line impact. Is it real or do the big numbers prove to be all show and no go?

Have a happy and safe Labor Day break.

  • Twitter, just like any other communications tool, comes down to purpose. If your prospects aren’t on Twitter and you’re trying to use it for lead generation, it probably won’t be that effective. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, tapping into relevant conversations and being active on Twitter is probably a good bet.

    It’s not about a “shout it and they will listen” approach… the same can be said for many other tools (Facebook, your blog, etc). If it ends up being an echo chamber for your business, you probably need to evaluate if it’s a good fit and tailor your tactics accordingly.

    Have a great weekend!

    Community Manager | Radian6

  • Don

    twitter is a waste of time, there are far better options than to be using twitter for “branding & leads”.

  • I’m working on selling this idea right now actually.

    While I don’t expect Twitter to convert well I do think it’s an integral part of the overall social media plan AND a way to interact with industry insiders.

    With so much activity in one place it would be remiss to ignore completely.

    Just like Facebook, with it’s 500M profiles, adding a fan page for your product won’t hurt and may create new opportunities you’d have otherwise missed.

    It’s a part, not the whole.