Twitter is a Drop in the Social Media Bucket

By Bryson Meunier, Natural Search Associate Director, Content Solutions

Twitter can be a great tool for reaching mavens and connectors, and can help a brand take their social media campaign to the next level. We do often recommend creating a Twitter account to clients for this reason. But it’s important to put it in perspective. For the past year it seems Twitter has been on the minds of a lot of online marketers, and probably accounts for a lot of its nearly 800% growth year over year. According to Technorati today, people have mentioned it in the blogosphere this past month almost as much as Facebook:

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Twitter Blog Mentions for December

Yet, if we look at the traffic for popular social media sites, Twitter is dwarfed by its more mainstream rivals:

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Worldwide Social Media Site Traffic

Figure 1 Social Media Traffic Volume last 12 months, US

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US Social Media Site Traffic

Figure 2 Social Media Traffic Volume last 12 months, Worldwide

Apart from traffic, if you’re marketing to 18-34 year olds, you may want to spend your time and money elsewhere, as 40% of the traffic is between 35-44 and nearly 80% is between 35-65 and over according to Google Ad Planner.

There are in fact, 11 social networks ahead of Twitter in terms of unique audience, according to the Top 20 Social Networks of 2008 figures released by Nielsen.

Twitter may, in spite of all this, be the social network that is right for marketing your brand. But you would sometimes think from listening to the blogosphere that it was the only social network out there. Don’t be fooled. Research all applicable communities before doing content outreach, as there may be a better social network for you. Twitter is an option, but it’s not the only one.


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