Posted June 10, 2011 10:53 am by with 2 comments

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

Everyone knows about Twitter. Every news outlet on TV and elsewhere encourages viewers to follow them on Twitter. Every brand from the Main Street SMB to the top of the Fortune 500 asks people to “Follow Us on Twitter!”

Yup, everyone KNOWS about Twitter but how many people actually use it on a monthly basis doesn’t inspire the same “Twitter is everywhere!” response. Look at this chart shared by eMarketer that shows the incongruence between awareness of Twitter and the actually numbers using the service. Note that the usage number is based on someone having EVER used the service vs. someone using it regularly.

There are two ways to look at this. One is that Twitter has a lot of room for growth and that’s a good thing.

The other is that Twitter is still far greater hype than reality. The company claims 200 million accounts. If they were really transparent they would tell us just what percentage of those accounts are real people rather than bots or Twitter handle placeholders.

There is a problem with Twitter’s hype v. reality. The problem is that many marketers are taking the bait hook, line and sinker. Did you know that it costs $120,000 per day for the Promoted Trends feature? If you take that number and divide it by 200 million that’s pretty cheap, I guess. Otherwise, it’s a fantasy play because who knows how many people will see it out of that supposed 200 million.

Here’s the trouble. No one really knows how many actual, viable people truly use Twitter. Twitter might (I am not completely confident they do) but other than their numbers, which I suspect they would not be too anxious to share, all other guesses are just wild ones with no real foundation.

So if you were to step out of your marketing and social media shoes for a second and forget that our industry and its representative use of Twitter is so blown out of proportion to the rest of the world, what would you guess is the REAL number of people who truly use Twitter on a daily basis?

Take a stab at it in the comment section because in the case of how many people really use Twitter, you’re guess is as good, if not better, than the next guy’s.

  • It’s hard to imagine allocating $120,000 per day and hoping that enough people are interested in that and then want to buy whatever service or promotion that company is selling! I still think that trying to sell people in these social channels isnt worth the effort because they are resistant to being sold in the first place…They are there to hear what celebs are doing or what their buddy did not buy

  • The VAST majority of people that I talk to either “can’t figure Twitter out” or “don’t see the value” or think it is just “way too overloaded with spam.” Everyone wants to be there, but few use it and fewer do so effectively. Just my take….