Need a little weekend reading? We’ve compiled our top ten Twitter stories of the week, which includes a study that reveals how prominent hashtags have now become, some eye-popping social media smartphone data, why Twitter’s Vine could soon be very important for brand marketing, social marketing tips for small businesses and a report that looks at how demographics use social media, and which platforms they prefer.
Here are our top 10 Twitter stories of the week.
What was once an informal convention confined to geeks, developers, and early adopters (pretty much one and the same, eh?), has become a mainstream element of social media for the masses. A new study by RadiumOne reveals that a full three quarters of social media users employ hashtags. But it gets even more surprising.
Quick: what’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Yawn? Hit the snooze button? Go to the bathroom? Brush your teeth? If you’re like 80% of 18-44-year-olds, the answer is “check my smartphone.” A new IDC Research report, conducted online with data from 7,446 Android and iPhone users ages 18 to 44 during a week in March, reveals some eye-opening mobile social media intel.
Twitter launched Vine, its mobile service that lets users create and share six-second looping videos, back in January, and the platform is already generating some serious buzz. And with good reason: mobile video is expected to represent 66 percent of global mobile data traffic within the next five years, and 87 percent of marketers in the U.S. already use video for content marketing. So what can Vine do for your business?
In less than a decade social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have revolutionised business marketing, with major brands across almost every industry successfully using these channels to raise awareness of products and services, generate leads and drive website footfall. But what about small business? While they don’t have the resources to compete with the larger brands, by fully integrating social media into all aspects of their business strategy small brands can also use these tools to dramatically boost their digital profile, customer base and sales.
Did you know that between 2011 and 2012, time spent on social media increased by some 30 billion minutes, representing a year-on-year increase of 37 percent? But, according to one study, while Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest remain popular with users aged 30 and over, it’s the formerly niche social platforms such as Reddit, Github and DeviantArt that can boast the highest representation amongst the important 18-29 demographic.
What is a hashtag? Well, on Twitter – and increasingly everywhere else – a hashtag is a word or phrase (with no spaces or punctuation) prefixed with the # symbol, offering users an easy way to communicate around a single theme. For example: #SocialMedia. While the history of the hashtag (certainly in its modern use) traces back to IRC, it was only with the rise and dominance of Twitter that this powerful tool really came to prominence.
A woman in Belfast has illustrated the power of Twitter by using the social network to find her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, after she had been missing for more than nine hours.
Social media is all about community. To raise awareness of your brand on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, you will need to work hard to build an engaged, relative and loyal audience of advocates and devotees, who, individually and as a collective, will consume your products and services, and, critically, share the good news through positive word of mouth.
Today, Twitter has announced a new two-tier option for its users: a premium, five dollars a month service, and a free but basic version of the micro-blogging platform, known as Twttr, which everyone can use. The catch? The no-cost Twttr option does not allow the use of vowels, meaning users will now have to get very creative with the letter “Y”.
A new study of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has revealed that these firms are spending the largest portion of their budgets on email marketing, committing significantly less of their financial resources to marketing on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
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(Twitter image via Shutterstock.)
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