Twitter is widely known but little-used in the U.S., according to the lead story in today’s SmartBrief on Social Media. A study by Edison Research found that 87% of Americans have heard of the network, but just 7% use it. By contrast, Facebook has an 88% awareness rate and a 41% user rate.
Now compare that with a study of social marketers’ network preferences, which found that 88% of social marketers used Twitter — more than any other network. When the question was put to social marketers with years of experience, the number jumped to 96%.
One of the biggest axioms in social marketing is that you have to “go fishing where the fish are” — you need to embrace the networks your audience already uses instead of trying to lure them to your platform of choice. So why aren’t social marketers taking their own advice?
It might be a case of reality not matching up to our expectations, as Jason Falls notes. Or it might be about the kind of user who’s on Twitter. The Edison Research survey found regular Twitter users are more than three times as likely to follow brands than the average social-network user. Perhaps being able to target the small number of highly connected users who are receptive to brands and love to share information — the people Andy Sernovitz calls “talkers” — is worth the effort. What do you think?
Why do you think social marketers are so much more likely to use Twitter than everyday users? Do these surveys change how you feel about Twitter’s usefulness? How did you decide which social networks to join?
Image credit, Sashkin, via Shutterstock