Since its publication in 2011, The Tao of Twitter: The World's Bestselling Guide to Changing Your Life and Your Business One Connection at a Time has been the top-selling book about Twitter. It's now in its fourth edition, and sales are still going strong—an indication that interest in the platform is not dwindling, even in the era of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
The secret to the lasting success of The Tao of Twitter might be that it explores the dynamics of personal networking and brand-building as much as it does the mechanics of Twitter itself. In it, author Mark Schaefer examines aspects of personal branding and networking, as well as offering specific tips for getting the most out of the platform.
Mark, a marketing consultant, keynote speaker, and best-selling author, previously appeared on Marketing Smarts to discuss his book KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age. I invited Mark back to the podcast to discuss what's changed on Twitter, why businesses should still be tweeting, and why now is the time for marketers to jump into Twitter advertising.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Does Twitter still matter? 330 million active users say yes! (06:28): "I had to answer a very fundamental question about Twitter: What is Twitter? Does it even matter anymore? Because there's a lot of marketers in particular that overlook Twitter. They're more intoxicated by Facebook and Google (and that's where a lot of the advertising and marketing dollars are going today). But I found that there's...a business world that maybe looks at Twitter as this quirky platform that's hard to understand.
"But there's also 330 million active [Twitter] users all around the world, and the people who use Twitter, they love Twitter. They learn. They follow their favorite friends and celebrities. It's where news is made. It's where news breaks. It's become part of the fabric of our popular culture.... Twitter's made a lot of cool changes. There's a lot of fascinating, awe-inspiring, fun things going on with Twitter."
When allocating budget for 2018, earmark some money for Twitter advertising (12:13): "[Twitter users] are the most brand loyal, which is important. There's this gap that's so interesting that, if you think about the magnitude of the platform—330 million active users. If you think about their engagement levels—intense! People are loyal, they're passionate, they're engaged with Twitter, they're conversing with their friends.
"The research shows that people on Twitter, when a brand follows them, they're more apt to be loyal to the brands that they follow than on any other social media platform. That's an important fact. Now look at another important fact: Advertising rates are going up on Facebook and Google.... I'm thinking there's this opportunity for businesses. I'm predicting a resurgence for Twitter, an improved profitability for Twitter. Marketers are going to have to look for alternatives. Twitter has been kind of overlooked."
As television viewers' second-screen activity of choice, Twitter offers a unique opportunity to deliver rich content (19:55): "I saw all this news about how Twitter was signing contracts with all these television shows. And the NFL, they're broadcasting football games on Twitter and award shows, and I'm thinking, 'Who would want to watch TV on Twitter'—until I did it. It is a ball! You see the show, and you see these special behind-the-scenes things that only Twitter has, and you're also seeing a stream of tweets about the show while the show is going on. It's real-time commentary. It's twice the entertainment! It is so much fun and I think Twitter has really kind of found itself there."
Mark and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Mark Schaefer, keynote speaker and founder of the marketing consultancy Schaefer Marketing Solutions. Mark is also the best-selling author of several business books including KNOWN: The handbook for building and unleashing your personal brand in the digital age and The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business. Follow him on Twitter: @markwschaefer.