Re-Thinking Twitter – User Base is steady, but Engagement is up.

twitter birdRecent studies have estimated that one-fourth of the world’s population uses social media. This means that almost 2 billion people are posting, pinning, tweeting, vining and instagraming. More than ever, brands have to be on their toes staying up-to-date with the latest developments and strategically investing resources into the trends that are likely to stick around.
According to some reports, Facebook has 1.4 billion active users every month, LinkedIn have over 330 million users, and over 500 million Tweets are sent each day.  Every 60 seconds 4.7 million posts are uploaded to Tumblr; 277,000 snaps are shared on Snapchat; and more than five million videos are viewed on YouTube.

The recent explosion of usage on Instagram, and the changes/refinements at Facebook seem to have made these the darlings of social media in 2015.  But a new report on Twitter analytics made me stop and think about Twitter.

Simply Measured has just released their Q4 2014 Twitter Benchmark Report , and some of their findings are very positive for the continued inclusion of Twitter as a primary social channel.  Of course, with 284 million active users each month, and 500 million Tweets sent each day, Twitter is still a big player.  But it takes time and effort to use Twitter regularly, and I am not as diligent in usage as I was in the past.

Here are some findings from this report that have made me re-think Twitter as a viable tool for my business.
1.     Eighty percent (80%) of active Twitter users are on a mobile device.  As mobile becomes more ingrained as the 1st screen, and time becomes a more valuable commodity, 140 characters are more easily read and absorbed than some other available channels.
2.    Engagement has risen by 85% vs. year ago according this report.  This suggests that brands are creating better, more engaging content to connect with their audiences.
3.    Brand activity is strong and growing.  The percentage of brands that tweet at least once a day has increased from 92% to 95%, and 82% of brands post original tweets in the 1-6 range daily, the so-called “sweet spot” when it comes to posting frequency.  Forty percent (40%) of tweets are in the 3-6 per day range.
4.    Brands are interacting with users more than ever. Almost half (48%) of brands replied to at least one tweet per day, which shows a growing focus by brands to engage and interact with their Twitter audience.
5.    Photos and videos drive the most engagement.  Photos made up 55% of sent tweets, but accounted for 57% of all engagement.  Vine and Instagram links were less than 1% of sent links, but were the highest percentage of engagement via @replies, Retweets, and favorites per tweet.
6.    The number of top brand using hashtags more than doubled in the past year, showing that brands are becoming more educated and sophisticated in how they post content.  This opens us a great opportunity for brands to develop a social community for awareness and brand preference.

The overall conclusion from this Twitter Benchmark Report is that brand marketers are creating more effective content and engaging with their audience more than ever.  And that bodes well for the future of Twitter as a viable channel for brand marketers than should not be ignored.

social media blog featureOne of the most challenging tasks in digital marketing is convincing your management to invest (or increase the investment) in social media.  At MarketMix 2015, Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured, will share his thoughts on Measuring and Optimizing Social Media for Optimum Performance.  Adam will demonstrate some practical ways to collect and use analytics to perform better, engage better, and improve your social channel interactions.  And some good advice on how to use those analytics to measure ROI.  Learn more about all twelve breakout sessions at


– Don Morgan

Don Morgan is Blog Editor of Sound Marketing and Past-President of PSAMA. He is also Head Rainmaker at Raindance Consulting, a branding, social media, and business development consulting company in Seattle. He can be reached at

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