Pros and Cons of Twitter Marketing

Twitter marketing

Last week, we explored some of the pros and cons of marketing your small business on Facebook. Although there are a few drawbacks – namely, cost and time – the benefits clearly outweighed the potential downsides.

But what about Twitter? Will marketing on the microblogging platform be a boon or a bust for your business? Let’s explore.

Why Twitter?

Twitter launched in 2006 as a glorified short message service (SMS) with a social networking spin. It grew quickly, and by 2009, the number of unique visitors had increased 1,300 percent.

But no banner ads or membership fees meant no revenue for the fast-growing site. Enter “promoted tweets,” which are exactly what they sound like. For a fee, your tweet (which was really just an ad) could be included in the search results.

With an average monthly audience of about 326 million people, you’re certainly not shouting into the void. And according to Twitter itself, people spend 26 percent more time viewing ads on the platform than they do on any other social site.

So, should you give Twitter a shot, or sit this one out? Here are some of the pros and cons of Twitter marketing.

Pros of Twitter Marketing

Let’s start by listing the positives. Advertising on Twitter gives you:

Increased reach. With Facebook, the only reliable way to engage with your target audience is if they “like” your business page, join your Facebook group, or actually read your unsolicited Facebook message without immediately trashing it. Twitter doesn’t play that game – you can follow anyone you like and get a conversation started.

Hashtag search. In marketing, it’s important to offer someone your products or services at exactly the right time – namely, when they need it. And on Twitter, people literally hashtag those needs in real time. If you own a sandwich shop, you can search #hungry and get a list of people who may really appreciate a 25 percent off coupon.

Multiple ad options. We’ve already talked about promoted tweets, but Twitter also allows you to promote your entire account, so your small business shows up in search. You can even run a promoted trend…if you have an extra $200,000/day in your marketing budget.

Powerful tagging tools. There’s no point in advertising to people who don’t want to buy what you’re selling. Twitter has some great tagging tools that help you reach the right audience.

Cons of Twitter Marketing

Now that we’ve dished about the good, it’s time to talk about the bad. Here are some common complaints about Twitter marketing.

Shoddy analytics. You can’t run a successful marketing campaign without knowing how it’s performing, and Twitter isn’t the best at giving you the information you need in this department. The analytics are there – they’re just not as robust, clear-cut or user-friendly as Facebook.

You may get lost in the crowd. Twitter moves lightning fast, which is a huge plus when you’re trying to follow a breaking news story, but it’s a negative when you’re paying big bucks for a promoted tweet that gets easily overlooked by the masses.

It’s labor intensive. If you’ve ever said, “I’m spending way too much time online,” Twitter may not be for you. The constant stream of notification dings, mentions, retweets and DMs can be difficult to manage unless your smartphone is surgically attached to your hand.

The Bottom Line

Twitter makes it easy to search for and connect with people and gives you the options and tools to target the right audience. But the analytics are mediocre at best, you’re constantly competing for attention, and it may be more time-consuming than it’s worth.

Only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. But if you need help deciding, we can help guide you in the right direction.