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The average Twitter account has 208 followers. That number might sound impossibly huge to you, or it might be laughably small compared to your many thousands of followers. But numbers don’t really matter on Twitter – at least not in the way many marketers think.
If you’re busy counting up your Twitter followers and wearing that number as a badge of honor, stop. Think about the last time you took a step back from your carefully composed 140-character messages and asked yourself why you’re so concerned with building a Twitter following.
Growing a Twitter account is not an end goal unto itself. Instead, it is a means to achieve any number of other valuable marketing goals.
Here are three ways your Twitter followers can provide you with value right now, regardless of how many (or how few) you may have:
- They help you target cross-channel efforts
Your Twitter audience does not tweet in a vacuum. They might send a tweet while watching Top Chef after a long day of work, and quickly flip over to check out some sports scores on ESPN.com.
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Knowing who you’re connected to on Twitter can help you plan media buys across multiple channels. Scooping up ad space on sports websites or participating in hashtag conversations while a reality TV show is being broadcast can be effective ways to reach your audience on more than one platform, and when they will be most receptive.
- They improve your content
Did your last tweet flop? Not to worry – everything you do on Twitter can be a learning opportunity if you know what lessons to look out for.
Content that falls flat can be used as a “do not repeat” warning to your marketing team. On the other side, content that is eagerly shared and engaged with by your Twitter followers can offer up valuable insights into what they want to see.
And if you are able to dig deep into your audience’s demographics, interests and behavior, you can refine your content even further. Consider cross-promoting your brand with another, compatible brand that your audience loves, or aligning your messaging to the social issues that they value.
- They provide competitor intelligence
How up-to-date are you on your competitor’s marketing strategy? If you don’t know, try turning to Twitter.
Instead of focusing on your Twitter followers to get at this valuable information, explore your competitor’s. Since Twitter users are constantly tweeting about brands they like or dislike, their experiences with customer service, product reviews and more, you can uncover a good deal about how well your competition is doing from their followers’ tweets.