Twitter: A Social Media Channel for Business or Pleasure?

Twitter is an interesting platform and can often take on a marmite type existence; people either love or hate it. But with brands, businesses and individuals continuing to turn to the platform on a daily basis, and with its ability to share exclusive content first, the question shouldn’t be do you like it or not, but is it a social media channel for business or pleasure?

When we think to the last time we accessed Twitter and why, there is a good chance it will be to follow something that has happened in real time, or from the moment that the event took place.

Gone are the days when we relied on ‘breaking news’ from journalists or reputable publications and media sources to share updates on global issues. Thanks to digital transformation, the first place we now turn to for the latest headlines is Twitter.

Launched in 2006, the platform now boasts an impressive 826m active users across the world*. The concept of Twitter was inspired by the belief that you can tell a story in few words, hence the restriction to each post to 140 characters, which has since increased to 280.

The idea that a feed would constantly update was a step too far for many, who couldn’t get their head around the fact that you simply could not read every post that came through and instead were expected to use the platform to update on the ‘here and now’.

Over time, this nuance has become more widely accepted as people turn to hashtags to find the content that is of more relevance to them. Even broadcasters have got in on the act, with hashtags featuring prominently and as standard, so that audiences can engage and converse during their favourite TV shows.

Some programmes have even embedded this within the format of the show, with the likes of The Last Leg using #IsItOk to share tweets from viewers that have posted their thoughts, pictures and even videos, which are then shared live on TV with the nation!

So, is Twitter for business or pleasure? It all depends on how you choose to use it but there is no doubt that it is still very much alive and well. As Facebook continues to face challenges around data breaches and compliance, Twitter has continued to attract some of the most powerful people in the world to its feed.

In fact, it is suggested that 83% of world leaders are on Twitter*, taking ‘influencer’ platform to a whole new level. When you consider that you can engage directly with people by simply including their handle in a Tweet, this becomes an incredibly powerful medium.

Clearly tweeting someone does not guarantee a response, but it is an opportunity to capture attention that is arguably like no other.

When we welcomed Vice President (EMEA) Twitter to THINK Manchester back in February, he shared a short video of a shocked looking cat, which had accrued thousands of likes, but was used to share a warning about robots taking over the world.

What this post proved was that unlike other platforms Twitter bridges between personal and business with ease. You can post a picture of your cat (or dog) in the morning, access the feed to see the latest footage of the recent tragedy in Paris (Notre-Dame) or update your followers with the latest updates from your business – all seamlessly shared from a single source.

It has been suggested that people are leaving Twitter for other social media tools such as Instagram but we find this hard to believe. The two do a very different job, but it would be interesting to share the views of our members.

Please feel free to share your comments and favourite ever tweets below.

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