YouTube was a revolution in the way we think about marketing. Interaction through a video was a brand new way to take advantage of media to get connections to your target audience. Never before had there been a way to connect with your audience on such a personal level while at the same time being able to present ideas and discuss thoughts with the aid of visual media. The advent of YouTube fuelled a series of everyday people speaking out about the things they were passionate about and being able to connect on a fundamental level with those that agreed with them and even to have a discussion with those who shared differing opinions.

YouTube was the evolution of blogging as bloggers migrated en masse to the video site since it offered them much of the things that their traditional blogging sites did but also allowed them to interact with a community of users and even create a community themselves. By categorizing people along the lines of their likes and dislikes it made it much easier to find a target audience and focus solely on them.

Marketing was a lot easier when YouTube came long. However, the media landscape has changed a lot since YouTube was a brand new site. In the last couple years, the powerhouse of social media interaction has changed from YouTube to other sites such as Facebook and most recently Twitter. Because of its growth and its method of engagement, Twitter seems to be the site that will challenge YouTube for marketing and advertisers. In order to understand how Twitter is such a threat to YouTube, we must understand where Twitter came from and how it appeals to the masses.

Let’s Look At The Appeal of Twitter

So how did it all start? In 2006, three professionals put together a method of sending text messages from the Internet to phones. In order to deal with the limitations of text messaging at the time, the application they used limited the amount of characters that could be sent to one hundred and forty.

Now, almost ten years later, Twitter has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Terming what they do as “microblogging” Twitter slowly started to lure bloggers away from traditional means of blogging. Blogging had itself brought writers out from the days when explaining and discussing and issue took in excess of five thousand words in a column. Now if a blog post goes over the three-thousand word mark, it is said to be wordy. Twitter further pared down the need for words, making users think about every character they put in. Because of the addictive nature of tweeting and the ability to do it almost anywhere, Twitter started making waves in both the commercial and economic world. Here was a way to get in contact with your user base effectively and with a very small amount of hassle. No need to sign up for mailing lists anymore, just subscribe to a particular hashtag and you’ll get all the updates from your favorite company.

Because of its usability and how simple it makes communication with a target audience, it is no wonder why Twitter is slowly drawing users away from YouTube. Twitter now boasts 284 million monthly active users and makes it easy to interact with those users by categorizing tweets with a hashtag.

Focusing on Twitter is in your best interests as a blogger, marketer of commercial entity.

5 Top Reasons You Should Be On Twitter (Yesterday)

Why you should incorporate Twitter marketing into your overall marketing plan can be summed up by five simple reasons:

1) Personal Interaction

Many times a blog has the downside of not garnering interaction by readers because of the length of the original content post or because the user isn’t around to respond to the comment for hours after it’s posted. Although this type of interaction is expected from a blog or even a YouTube page, it has been replaced by the instant gratification of accessing a reply from a Twitter user. Because of Twitter’s presence and portability, Twitter users can follow their tweets in real time and respond to their replies as they come in. Although it can be quite overwhelming when a tweet goes viral to try to respond to everything, many users manage to do just that. How this affects a business blogger is by allowing instant communication with whoever is interested in their product or service. People have a tendency to be sold on an idea for a short while after seeing marketing content. Twitter allows you to further capitalize on this by removing the downtime between the original content interaction and the follow up with the client. This can potentially lead to more conversions.

2) Sheer Amount of Users

Active users on Twitter is expected to break 300 million per month before the end of 2015. That means more users from all over the world are getting into the act of tweeting. Twitter’s draw comes from a number of different reasons and many of those reasons have to do with being heard. The exponential growth of this media giant is also fuelled by people’s demand for up-to-date information (as many users subscribe to news sites for a feed) as well as opinions on anything that affects them both culturally and socially. Outreach is probably one of the most significant reasons why a company should focus on Twitter right now. YouTube in its day had the ability to draw a lot of users and make it easy for them to watch an uploaded video, but there were far more people out there who simply watched the video but didn’t deliver feedback on it because it was simply too much of a hassle to set up a twitter account. With users already having a Twitter account before they follow you, this seamless integration helps develop a following for your content. Each user is connected to thousands of other users and a simple retweet could be enough to drive your content viral.

3) Generating Leads for your Business

One of the most understated things that Twitter does for a business is that it can help generate leads. By retweeting other brands and getting them to retweet you, you can create and cultivate a series of social media links that feed back into one another. The positive side of this is that you get to reach more users with each retweet. Having other brands retweet information about you can encourage users of that particular brand who wish to find out more information about you to follow you. Another method that Twitter offers for generating leads is by making it very easy to put together giveaways. Twitter giveaways utilize followers and encourage others to follow you and retweet your giveaway information so that you can access even more users. Due to the interconnectedness of twitter and how each lead feeds into a feed for another one, you can easily see how a simple retweet by another company can lead to getting you hundreds, thousands even tens of thousands of new users to subscribe to your feed. YouTube’s functionality for this is limited and requires paying for advertisement on another user’s channel. Twitter’s retweet system is a lot more financially feasible in terms of spreading the word.

4) Trend Research

Hashtags were invented by Twitter as a means to track people’s interaction and ideas based on a topic or series of topics. Just like keywords work in YouTube, the hashtag helped users to find topics they were interested in and get in on the conversation with other like-minded users. Twitter made categorization part of popular culture, no mean feat in a society where categorizing things is rather uncommon. By putting a conversation in an easy-to-reference central word or phrase Twitter was also able to track the popularity of a keyword or phrase as it came to prominence. Popular hashtags are the ones that usually reference world events since most users tweet about that and opinions based on a particular hashtag get more viewing as the hashtag become more popular. In order to see the most popular topics of discussion on twitter over the course of a day, a week or a month, you simply have to see which hashtags trended well over a time period. This is a business-changing idea since by tapping into the power of hashtags, you can directly discuss the events that affect people on twitter and use that as outreach for your own business. Following trending hashtags on twitter can give you a rough idea of what kind of keywords work well for a blog post (let’s say) and that can further impact your business overall.

Time To Join The Millions…

Blogging for business has evolved from its early days of single post blogs per week into a multi-million dollar business. As topics become more difficult to write on, Twitter can provide an ideal way to discover new things to discuss on your blog while keeping you relevant with the discussion of current issues. Social media has started to move away from YouTube and although there are statistics that claim that YouTube converts better than other social media platforms, these studies fail to take into account the growth of the social media competitors such as Twitter. Based on how useful a service such as Twitter can be to any sort of professional institution in terms of its marketing and outreach plan, focusing on Twitter as you go forward is not just a suggestion, not doing so could be disastrous for your business.

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