The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “Small Firms Say LinkedIn Works, Twitter Doesn’t.” This immediately grabbed my attention since we’re constantly testing which social media sites work best for our customers. I already knew that my personal preference to find success usually involves LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Google’s tools. I am just not a huge supporter for Twitter (though I will acknowledge that there are definitely specific niches that can benefit greatly from Twitter). This article sparked my curiosity and motivated me to take a quick look at Surefire traffic over the last month. Sure enough- Facebook generated the most traffic, followed by LinkedIn, and Google+. Twitter only generated a little over 3% of our traffic!! The article states similar opinions, advising small businesses that Twitter should not be their top priority. The article cites “just 3% of 835 business owners surveyed earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International said Twitter had the most potential to help their companies.”
So what does this mean for small businesses? Unless you have a dedicated team of local marketing experts to work on your social marketing campaigns, Twitter is not where you should be focusing your efforts. Small businesses have a limited supply of financial and personal resources- and it can be too timely to figure out what short messages work best. The article points out that “Twitter says it is just beginning to court small businesses, which make up the bulk of U.S. companies, and are an important revenue source for many tech giants, including Google.” Twitter promised over a year ago that it was going to allow small businesses to buy ads on the service (previously only offered to large businesses), but a year later the possibility is still in the testing phase.
Mr. Ken Lopez of Washington, of A2L Consulting which offers services to law firms, was also quoted in the article and I think he summarized it best. He says “We will tweet 10-plus times a day, and we put roughly the same number of posts on LinkedIn per day, yet we get dramatically different results.” This rings entirely true with the Surefire Team. Twitter has a time and a place, but if you only can do so much social media, put Twitter down at the lower level of that priority list.