If you are a relative newcomer to Twitter and an infrequent “Tweeter” if you have an account, it is hard to appreciate exactly how widely used and influential the Twittersphere is.
Twitter had an estimated 225 million users in 2011 – a number that has certainly grown, one million new Twitter accounts are created every day and “Twitter” (the name) is supposed to reference the sound a bird makes, or, a constant chirping of frivolous information.
We may hear in the next hour or two that they are releasing a new feature film: Planet of the Tweets.
In all seriousness though: why is Twitter so successful?
It is undeniable that Twitter is a powerful, and lucrative, forum. Twitter’s projected ad revenue for 2012 is a cool $259 million and is projected to nearly double to $540 in 2014. In six short years it has exploded on the Internet into a mega social media.
There is no doubt that Twitter is well used and much-loved by companies, people, and news agencies the world over. Spend five minutes on the live feed and you will think that you’ve been caught in a hailstorm of hyperactive budgies rather than the gentle chirpings of your feathered forest friends.
There are a few Twitter records that will make your ears hum even thinking about it:
- “Castle in the Sky” hits television screens – 25,088 Tweets per second
- The final few minutes of Superbowl XLVI – 10,245 Tweets per second
- The reaction to Madonna at the Superbowl – 10,245 Tweets per second
- Tim Tebow and the Broncos Win a big one – 9,420 Tweets per second
- Beyonce appears at the Video Music Awards – 8,869 Tweets per second
The cyber conversation has become a new beast thanks to Twitter, which has ushered in an age of personal broadcasting and stream of consciousness that appeals not only to teens and kids trying to connect with their friends, but everyone from law enforcement to corporations to adults.
Pew Internet reports that “some 15% of online adults1 use Twitter as of February 2012, and 8% do so on a typical day… fully one in five internet users ages 18-24 (20%) now use Twitter on a typical day, up from 9% in May 2011.” The study goes on to break down that statistic into more telling categories:
- African-Americans —Internet users continue to use Twitter at high rates. More than one quarter of online African-Americans (28%) use Twitter, with 13% doing so on a typical day.
- Young adults — One quarter (26%) of Internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49. Among the youngest Internet users (those ages 18-24), fully 31% are Twitter users.
- Urban and suburban residents — Residents of urban and suburban areas are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts.
The Twittersphere is a poster-child in its own right for activity and discussion and therein lies its appeal because it allows people and companies to give the impression of growth and action through tracking their changing and evolving thoughts, news and even movements.
Twitter is not so much about voyeurism and tracking what other people are doing as it is becoming your own PR agent by broadcasting your news – which makes it invaluable for companies because they are able to easily track what is trending, who is tweeting and tailor their ads or products to target those needs.
Simply creating a new Twitter account will give you firsthand experience on how companies are shopping for potential leads on the latest social media site as many of your first followers will be Tweeters from real estate, or tanning salons, or local services that have used location information you provide to source you out from the other 999,999 new users.
So, for companies that do not yet have a handle (or do not yet know what a handle is – hint: it begins with an @ sign) it is time to start tweeting with the best of them and get your ticket into a world humming with consumer chatter, product babble, and trend talk.
As for you new users – live on the edge and make your first tweet. You may even be surprised and find that you like, if not love, the sound of your own chirp and how it can reach out and touch the ears (or screen) of the other birds in the Twittersphere flock.
To learn more, click here for your free e-book on how to tune up your social media accounts: