Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Twitter effect: good news and bad news!

How do you feel about Twittering? What is your view on the explosion of this microblogging tool? Is it overhyped? Underused by charities? Is Twittering a good thing or a nuisance?

According to a recent article in the e-Marketer Daily over 12 million Americans will be Twittering in the US in 2009. Apparently this figure will be nearly twice the number of Twitter users in the US in 2008 and probably the UK is showing similar signs of growth in Twitter usage.

So, one thing is for sure that Twittering is a big thing right now. Where is the good news in this for charities that want to use social media to engage with new constituencies?

Well, the good news according to comScore Media Metrix is that the Twitter usage growth is being driven by the 25- 54 year olds. Yes, you heard it right... it is apparently the grown ups who are comfortable with techology who are Twittering away to their friends. Especially, the 45 - 54 year olds who are more likely to use Twitter than other age groups.

Interestingly enough, this is also one of those demographic segments who are likely to support charitable work and volunteer their time and expertise. So if you are looking to engage with more people of this age group - you need to start thinking about Twittering away on behalf of your charity.

The bad news - well according to recent data from Nielsen Online the bad news is that Twitter's retention rate is only 40%. In other words, more than 60% of Twitter users fail to return to the blog in the next month.

The Twitter site can not tell you when your blogs followers have signed off or how many of them have walked away so when you have their attention you must do all you can to direct traffic to your charity's website or find a creative way to hold their interest for a longer time.

Will Twitter fade away when the next hot thing comes along or will it continue to be a powerful marketing tool for relating to unique audiences? -

Who knows, only time will tell.... but for now, why not make the most of this free social media tool for getting the message about your charity out and for raising awareness and financial support

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