Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A LARGE audience doesn't equate to a captive audience

First off, it's been a long, long time since I've posted and I might even consider myself a bit rusty, so bear with me.

I recently started to use Twitter to promote for a hobby website of mine that I started on the side.  It's totally unrelated to the finance industry so I won't go into detail about it. The point of this post is to discuss the use of Twitter.

I have noticed the majority of people on Twitter have the following things in common:

  1. They rarely generate their own content, they are "retweeting" other people's content (this can be done by a "bot", so the person isn't even manually checking for what they retweet);
  2. They follow hundreds, if not thousands of people in hopes that those people would follow them back;
  3. If those people do not follow them back, they can have their Twitter settings set up so that they automatically "unfollow" those people.
Judging by the above set of prevalent behaviors in the Twitter community, I would believe that close to 90% of your followers aren't even paying attention to your tweets. What are the implications of this to businesses that are hoping to use Twitter to mass distribute their company news, events, etc?

  1. You don't have a captive audience - less than 10% are actually listening;
  2. You have followers because you are also following thousands of people who feel like they should reciprocate by following you back but not necessarily follow your news;
  3. When spending money on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, make sure it makes sense for you; this means you KNOW your target audience is there and that they will also be receptive and responsive to your ads through those channels - or you might get better results by throwing money from the top of a building and courting passerby with your product as they scramble to pick up free money.
  4. This doesn't apply to well-known brands and celebrities because their fans are crazy about them and can be considered a captive audience.
It seems like everyone is crazy about using social media to advertise, but if you audience isn't listening, or not even relevant to your product (as in they won't use it!) then why are you throwing away money? 

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