What social media platforms should I use?
That’s the question that I usually get when people want to talk about handling social media. Then they will inevitably list off what they feel are the heavy hitters. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. and sometimes they even invoke the name Twitter.
Twitter is a weird one for Alaska. It has its place (they all do) but we’re going to talk about whether or not it works in relation to mass communication and advertising.
Are there people using twitter? Are there Alaskans using Twitter?
Absolutely. But consider what the platform is actually good at. People don’t use Twitter like they do other social media platforms. It’s largely quick shots of text, some images, and an odd-ball video here or there. Oh yeah, and a slew of GIF images.
If you look at the majority of active twitter accounts for Alaska they are tied to some very specific sectors. Politics, journalism, large Alaskan based companies to need to talk to a national audience and (my favorite) angry people who hit up customer service for freebies.
This is a broad generalization but I work in advertising and marketing, so cut me some slack, it’s what I thrive on.
Is the organic reach (the free stuff) worth your time?
Not for most small, Alaskan-based businesses. The critical mass just isn’t there. Look at the conversations they are having. Most of them are tapping into a national dialog which is great, fantastic even, but it lacks the context of a hyper-local conversation and the general audience that a local or regional business needs to thrive.
It’s also fast. If you want to be part of a conversation you need to have you twitter finger at the ready. So monitoring becomes important and that takes man-power. Most importantly that takes energy and you will likely have other platforms that you can and should prioritize first.
Is the Advertising worth it?
This is where things get harder to quantify. Advertising is paying for impressions and measuring the results of those. For a business selling a hamburger, you find a customer almost anywhere. For a business that sells hot tubs, it’s a narrower niche and Twitter may not hold enough of your targeted audience for a broad based campaign. So this one falls into the big “depends” category. You really need to consider your objective and who your audience is. Now, if you’re planning on selling hamburgers solely to journalists. Then yes, you get right on that twitter feed and sell away.
Count the cost, not just the money.
Money isn’t the only cost of jumping into a new advertising platform. It’s also measured in energy. If you’re a smaller business without an Agency, you may easily become overwhelmed trying to navigate the ins and outs of the platform. If you’re a larger company with a dedicated marketing team or CMO, then you may end up taking their attention off of platforms that you’ll have greater success with. So talk with your team or your agency and really think about all the angles of jumping in before you take the leap.
Now, with all this said Twitter is gaining ad revenue nation-wide. They are up 18% this Q1 2019 over last year. My entire thought process around this platform may change because digital advertising is moving faster than ever and who knows what innovations they will think up over the next year.