Will ‘Tweeting’ Benefit Your Business?
August 30, 2009 Leave a comment
There is no denying that social media has grown exponentially over the last year or two and will continue to impact our lives in the future in ways that we can’t even imagine today. For evidence, go to my recent post on the subject. However; real estate companies, brokers and agents have been slow in trying to get their arms around this 800 pound gorilla since it first appeared on the marketing scene.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle that our industry has had to overcome with this newer form of advertising and networking is that a large majority of the company owners, leadership and top-producers are 50 plus years old. In general, they have had a successful track record that hasn’t included social media so in their minds the cost/time versus benefit matrix just doesn’t add up. In addition, this group of practitioners is traditionally more conservative and resistant to change. (In the interest of full disclosure and just so you don’t think I’m bashing this specific group, I fall within this age demographic – but just barely.)
While I use Facebook, LinkedIn and regularly post to a blog, something has never sat right with me about Twitter. I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to keep an open mind but I just don’t see the benefit of knowing that someone I know is having an egg salad sandwich for lunch. My impression of this form of social media has always been that it is just mindless chatter. I should also tell you that I don’t get Survivor, Dancing With the Stars or The Biggest Loser on television. Call me ‘out of touch’ if you will.
I also realize that there is a percentage of Twitter users that don’t engage in mindless chatter and are utilizing it to promote products or services which, to be frank, is its own sort of babble. My impression has been that this is a small portion of users and that the overuse of promotion by bombarding followers with ads is being viewed as spam. People aren’t going to follow you on Twitter, Facebook or any other similar forum if you’re trying to sell them something (i.e. in real estate – a new listing). Followers are getting desensitized to marketing messages and are starting to treat tweets or posts with promo links the way they treat a web page with banner ads. They are starting to treat them as background noise; worse yet, turn you off.
Well then, why should REALTORS® use social networking sites like Twitter at all? My personal opinion is that if anyone decides to use these sites for business purposes it should be like an extended business card where clients can go to find out about your personality; your interests; your likes and dislikes. They want to know that you’re an honest, trustworthy, likable person that they can do business with. Will ‘Tweeting’ do that? Maybe – maybe not.
Is it really full of meaningful conversation or senseless babble? Is Twitter meant to be a place to share silly comments and photos with your friends or a great place to promote your company’s product or service? Many marketers are trying to figure out how to converse with potential customers – but should they? Or is this why social media was created in the first place – so consumers could rant about the corporations of the world? ¹
Check out some of these numbers. My personal comments are italicized after each bullet point:
- Females out’tweet’ Males by 10% (I guess they’re more talkative and social – Shocker!)
- Only 8% of Twitter users are age 17 or less (This stunned me.)
- 5% of Twitter users contribute 75% of the content (Hmmm.)
- 20% of Twitter accounts are ‘dead’ – in other words - never used (Wonder why?)
- Only 5% of Twitter users have more than 100 followers (Not everyone is as popular as Oprah or Ashton Kucher who reportedly have the most followers on Twitter.)
- Facebook has 12X the number of hard-core followers as Twitter. (More quality numbers = More value.)
- ‘Babble’ is the number one type of content on Twitter with 41% of all posts (My intuition was correct regarding the reference to the egg salad sandwich for lunch.) ¹
Call me an old ‘fuddy-duddy’, but I’m just not ready to spend the time to ’Tweet’ day and night - yet. See me in six months and we’ll talk again.
¹ ”Twitter Study – August 2009.” Pearanalytics – analytics, insights, intelligence. Ed. Ryan Kelly. Pear Analytics, Aug. 2009. Web. 28 Aug. 2009. http://www.pearanalytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Twitter-Study-August-2009.pdf.
Related articles of interest:
- Does social media generate leads?(myventurepad.com)
- Social Media Gives Execs the Willies(marketingpilgrim.com)
- Dell, Moonfruit Claim Twitter Campaigns Effective(marketingvox.com)
- Free Ways Advertising Your Business-Social Networking Sites …(jonggunlee.tistory.com)