How important is Twitter to Boston area consumers? Yesterday, for instance, the social media platform was mentioned in at least ten articles published by the Boston Globe yesterday. Almost every local TV newscast included references to the site as well.
Twitter's outsized presence in the news, however, is enormously disproportional to the importance of the micro-blogging app in the life of Boston's consumers.
According to Nielsen, only about 17% of adults in Boston use Twitter during the course of a month. This is minuscule compared to other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Twitter offers 20 different options that Boston small business owners can utilize to market their goods and services to local consumers. The platform's minimal reach, however, can hamper the success of any advertising campaign.
A study, Nielsen discovered the elements of an advertising campaign that had the most potent effect on purchase behavior. The results indicate that reach (the number of different consumers exposed to a campaign) was responsible for driving more sales for the advertiser than branding, recency, context, or targeting. Only the message itself (creative) was more potent.
Even among millennials, who account for nearly 30% of all retail sales in Boston, Twitter's reach is dwarfed by the other social media sites.
In addition to insufficient reach, another reason Boston small business owners may avoid placing advertising on Twitter is a matter of trust.
Early last year, The Pew Research Center published the results of a survey regarding the trustworthiness of social media sites among consumers. Only 12% of respondents said they trust Twitter as a source for news. This low confidence in the site's content could negatively affect an advertiser's brand and image.
Twitter was launched in July 2006. Since then, the service has registered more than 320 million accounts. The majority of these accounts, however, seldom tweet.
According to Pew Research, 10% of Twitter's users account for 80% of all posts. This low participation rate indicates an overwhelming lack of engagement. This could be another reason why Boston small business owners should place their advertising dollars elsewhere.
To achieve the magnitude of reach necessary to conduct a successful advertising campaign, local business owners may want to consider alternatives to Twitter.
According to Nielsen, despite an abundance of new media options, most Boston consumers prefer traditional media. Each week, for instance, more adult consumers tune-in to Boston radio, local TV, and cable than all other advertising-supported options.
The most successful campaigns, however, utilize multiple forms of advertising to achieve the maximum amount of reach.
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