Say it a micro-blogging or social networking platform, Twitter is the first and foremost word that comes in our mind. Launched in July 2006, the network was introduced by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evans Williams. The platform was a massive success and got named “the SMS of the internet ”. Currently its a home of more than 330 million people worldwide. That bird in its logo represents the application’s quick and nippy functioning. The word macro defines it’s 140 character limit when it comes to tweeting. Though, it has double now. One can use a maximum of 280 characters in his or her tweet.
Twitter’s Impact On Our Lives:
More than 65% of US companies are using Twitter for marketing. More than 70% of Twitter users look for news on the platform. It has become a battlefield of politics and debates. Those days are gone when an office used to be the most important place for a political leader. In the era of virtualization, Twitter is the new place to speak your mind. When one tries to know about a platform that deals with such a huge number of people, statistics is the best gateway. So let’s dive into some stats.
- 80% of active users visit Twitter via mobile phone.
- 83% of the world’s leaders are actively using Twitter.
- Twitter generates 6,000 tweets per second.
- 40% of people on Twitter say that they bought the products of a particular brand after getting influenced by their favorite influencer.
- Tweets with videos get 10 times more engagement.
- Tweets with hashtags can get 1,000 times more engagement than tweets without hashtags.
- There are 24.6% verified journalists on Twitter.
- More than 60% of people go for brands that they follow and are engaged with.
- More than 92% of brands tweet more than once a day.
Statistics based facts are never-ending. In this era of digital information, we people act as a node in this web of information, where each node is consuming and sharing the information. When we talk about business, sales, marketing, politics, etc. social media is what we first think of.But how social media platforms like Twitter have changed our personal lives? Let’s have a look:
- A pool of knowledge: Twitter is an amazing platform for knowledge seekers. It acts as a pool of information no matter what’s the date. One can search for things that happened way too long and also can keep a track of the latest things happening around. You can go through the whole history of tweets of a person, organization, political party to have an opinion about it.
- Power of expression: Words are powerful and so is a tweet. Twitter has given an opportunity to each and everyone to share their opinion about things. From a common man to a political leader, anyone can share their views with billions of people throughout the world. At the same time, one gets feedback from different people on the same screen. Feedbacks are important for improvisation at least for an organization and it’s brand value. You want to explore a new field, let’s say R&B music just follow top R&b artist on Twitter and check out their profile. You can also follow top hashtags related to the particular field and it opens a pool of information in front of you.
- Art: Twitter has given fire to indie art. Now showcasing your opinions and talent is easy, thanks to platforms like Twitter. Twitter lets you build your audience in an independent manner. You don’t need an actual stage to showcase your skills, now you have the opportunity to connect with your audience directly anytime from anywhere across the globe. An artist needs validation. It’s important for an artist to get instantaneous feedback in order to feel satisfied with his or her work. Twitter allows you to make money out of your skills. You can go live on Twitter, there is no need to pay for renting a stage. From photography to music the art is all there on Twitter.
- Life Saviour: There are stories about people who went missing or got trapped in some unknown places but in the end, it managed to get out using Twitter. Imagine you went on a trip and you ran out of food, then you found a fruit which you have not seen before. Just click a photo of it and share it on Twitter. Chances are high that you will end up getting to know the details you want. Many people have performed this life-saving trick to save their lives.
- Digital Dating: The dating game is all about knowing each other. These days people share a big part of their private lives on public platforms like Twitter. Even though it might be your first date but you can tell and get to know about a person just by going into his or her profile. An awesome Twitter profile can give you a glimpse of the person’s personality you are looking for. Though people have mixed opinions about it. But still love has blended with technology and the result is an era of digital dating. Tagging someone, liking someone’s tweet, and retweeting has become an expression of love. You have got 280 characters to express your emotions. Social media platforms are now working as one of the most powerful tools for finding a better match for you.
- Recruitment: Twitter helps people to make a network of people with whom they wish to work with. Using Twitter, one can follow human resource managers of different companies and could directly connect with them. Every company’s recruitment department has its own separate Twitter handle. You can track their tweets and stay updated. Your engagement with any company’s, the Twitter handle might create a good impression of you in front of them. Some companies put vacancies on their Twitter handle first before posting the job into job-seeking websites. This might help a job seeker to be an early applicant in the companies recruitment process.
Twitter & Politics
We all know that social media plays an important role in politics. Let’s discuss some points regarding Twitter’s influence on politics:
- 24*7 news availability: Earlier when the internet was not accessible by people, media used to play a role of mediator between politicians and common people. But that middle part is cut off now. Now a common person is directly connected to a political leader. The moment a tweet comes out about politics, it’s all there over social media.
- Polling: Polling helps politicians to get feedback and responses from the public. They often use polling to frame their speeches before going to a place for a political campaign. Sometimes these polls become so accurate that one can predict the future outcome. The polling result can be highly influential. It can manipulate the whole public easily.
- Go live: Day by day politicians are trying to go live instead of calling the press. Putting a press conference has always been a time taking process. Live streaming supports real-time chat on Twitter that allows the public to interact with politicians in real-time. Earlier politicians use to tell the media about their views and opinion first, then media used to manipulate the facts somehow and used to present in front of the public. Twitter has eliminated this thing up to a great extent.
- Public Data: Political parties pay different data extraction companies to get the demographics (age, gender, location, race, employment status, etc) and psychographics (personality, value, attitude, interest, lifestyle) data of their target voters. It helps to know the need of people, what they want. It helps them to produce an effective manifesto for election propaganda. The Big data and AI industry meant to help these political parties depend on Twitter- politicians nowadays use social networks to gather more information about their target audience. In a way, it has become a trend for politicians to have an account on social networks.
Whether it is a B2B business or a B2C business, Twitter has changed the art of marketing. Especially when it comes to B2C business, Twitter leads big giants like Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. 85% of Twitter businesses say that they use the network for their customer support service. Twitter ads are way more interactive than TV ads. Let’s see how businesses are dependent on Twitter nowadays.
- Customer Engagement: Engaging the customers to buy your tweets is an effective marketing strategy one could possibly think of. More frequent tweets result in more customer engagement. Posting content related to your products whether GIFs or videos help in engaging target customers. In fact, people get drawn towards your tweet more if you have a video as compared to text. We know that customers compare different brands in the market according to different parameters. Therefore, how active a company is on social media platforms becomes an important parameter of comparison. Infographics have the power to express facts in a short and compressed form hence it should be an obvious choice over text.
- Brand Awareness: More followers leads to more engagement. Brand awareness refers to consumer consciousness. How well people know about your brand and how often they share opinions about your brand with others determines brand awareness of your company. To increase brand awareness, a robust and precise marketing strategy is needed. Getting genuine feedback from Twitter polling also helps. The network also offers paid advertisement campaigns. Moreover, the network offers mind-blowing tools for your business growth. One can select a specific demographic area to increase its brand value limited to that area only. Other paid features like auto bidding and daily campaign budget are useful in precise marketing practice.
- Promotion: From the perspective of psychology, promotion is a kind of positive manipulation of the customer’s mind which makes them think about your brand. It’s an art of winning a customer’s trust. Twitter’s Promote Mode is a service that helps you in promoting your brand and products. It’s a paid service and it does auto amplification of your tweet to a larger audience in a short span of time. The best of this model is its automatic section which makes you enable to boost your promotions even if you have a small marketing team.
- Customer Support: In the pre-internet era businesses were hugely dependent on voice support(BPO) and non-voice support(email support). After Twitter came to the market, the whole game changed. Twitter is a platform for the public, anyone can see your retweets. People started retweeting their issues on company handles to get public attention and guaranteed solution. We know how frustrating it feels when we call the customer service center and sometimes they can’t help us. That time we don’t have any option to talk to higher authority except sending an email. But 90% of your queries asked on Twitter get solved by the company’s customer support as its a matter of brand value. The way an organization troubleshoots its customer’s problem determines its brand value in the market. And it’s a free service from Twitter that helps you to grow your business.
- Recruitment: Business companies use Twitter for human resource and recruitment of the employees. Companies try to let the public view their work culture. Earlier people used to be skeptical about the company’s work culture.
- Influencers: An appropriate influencer can help your business to excel. Influencer marketing is the hottest marketing option for making a brand value.
These influencers have a significant number of followers on their Twitter handle. Most of the followers belong to a specific community. By approaching influencers for marketing helps in reaching the target audience. For example, if you want to promote a sports drink, you can approach an influencer belonging to the fitness community. By doing so, you can directly reach your target audience. There are many influencers providing agencies you can talk to. It’s extremely helpful for small businesses where endorsing your brand from a celebrity goes out of budget.
Safety At Twitter:
Safety is a major concern for people using networking platforms like Twitter. Your data is valuable and can be sensitive too. How Twitter manages its user data in such a hassle-free manner? Let’s have a look.
- Twitter provides a mute feature to its users. You can remove someone’s tweets without blocking them and the best part of this feature is that the person you are muting won’t get to know about it so you can also unmute them later.
- You can block certain words that you don’t want to see on your Twitter screen. You can block them for a certain amount of time or for forever.
- You have the option not to receive notifications on every event associated with a tweet.
- You can restrict your tweets to your followers. People who don’t follow you won’t be able to see your tweets.
- People are not always in the right mood to see any disturbing content. Twitter has got the functionality that warns its users before showing them any kind of sensitive content.
- You get the power to filter the accounts belonging to a specific community so that they won’t show up on your timeline.
- Twitter gives you tweet protection. You have the right to allow or deny any of your followers from seeing your post.
- You can be very specific about people tagging you.
Twitter Brand Wars:
Twitter wars between companies can lead to positive and healthy marketing practices. Sometimes companies nail it with a great sense of humor. People love watching these knock out matches between different brands. It directly results in the rise of user engagement.
When Laura Hallen mentioned both Oreo and KitKat on her tweet talking about her love for chocolates. Kitkat then challenged Oreo for a tic tac toe game and Oreo replied to it in a beautiful way. It was more of a compliment for Kitkat. These healthy marketing practices on social media increase your brand awareness up to a great extent. Marketing is all about winning the perception rather than reality sometimes. Have you heard of ambush marketing? Ambushing someone refers to an act of sudden attack from behind. In Ambush marketing a company spends money to advertise itself on an unsponsored event.
1.By creating strong passwords: Your password should not be too short. Try to use at least 10 characters in your password. Your password should be a mix of alphabets, numbers and special characters. It’s always recommended to use as much as special characters you wish rather than using alphabets.
2. Two-factor authentication: Twitter offers two-factor authentication for extra security. It’s called login verification. You can choose either a text message or a physical security pin.
3. Deactivate your tweet Location: You don’t have to share your location information every time you tweet. You can deactivate this default feature on Twitter.
4. Turn off personalization: You can turn off the personalization feature, that kind of settings on your Twitter account tracks your activity (searches, likes, location, etc) to show personalized ads.
5. Turning on the quality filter: By turning on the quality filter, you can eliminate the low-quality content (redundant and spammed content).
6. Reporting: Being a responsible consumer of digital data, you have the right to report anything which you find offensive and threatening. By doing so, you simply help the organization to look after the fake accounts.
Problems With Twitter:
What’s there in the face it ain’t on the screen. Believe it or not, at some corner in our heart we all know that all these social media platforms are completely an inorganic way of expression. Those days are gone when people use to express themselves through a black pen and white paper.
We think social media has given us colors, colors of freedom, colors of individuality which is true to some extent but it has also taken colors of life from us. What will you share from the whole world if you are empty from the inside? How are you going to connect with the whole world if you feel detached from yourself? Sometimes your words have no meaning in this virtual world. Everything seems to be a simulation. You can see it, but can’t peek into it. You can understand things here but can’t feel them- what is from a mind or what is from a machine, what is fake and what is real, you are not aware of the fact.
It’s all chaos here. Welcome to Twitter. Are we being manipulated by some white-collar powerful people? In the world of capitalism, such platforms are necessary. The right balance of production and consumption of information is what we need. Let’s see some adverse effects of Twitter in our life.
- It spreads hatred: Hate comes from the heart and is expressed through the mind. Now people have a platform that lets them speak their minds. Hence, it has become a place to abuse anyone. People try to hurt each other’s sentiment via tweeting and retweeting. All major platforms take hatred, abuse, and threats very seriously. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have provisions in place to counter and reduce such incidents.
In case you face such issues, you can anytime report with screenshots to your local police. These days government organizations are highly active on social media, thus you can also mention them on the particular post as well.
- Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying has become a very serious issue nowadays. 4500 kids commit suicide every year because of it. Cyber aggression could be dangerous because of its anonymity and it is easy to join mass harassment online on platforms like Twitter. Victims of cyberbullying find it extremely offensive and it can be anyone irrespective of gender caste, creed religion, profession, etc. Electronic bullying is a major cause of depression, isolation, anger, illness, humiliation, and suicide. And the worst part of it is the lack of awareness among people especially parents and schools. Its a misuse of technology and digital information. What kind of activities comes under cyberbullying? Let’s have a look.
- Sending threatening messages to someone.
- Spreading rumors about something or someone.
- Stealing account details. Misusing anyone’s public data for personal and commercial use.
All social media networks should take strong action against cyberbullying, and many social channels are working to provide the safest access to users. One should not directly retaliate after being cyberbullied. Just keep proof of it with yourself and approach a higher authority. Report the incident to the web platform you are using. Try to follow the triple C rule-Crush Cruel Content. In 90% of cases, peers are present. A small initiation by a peer can stop a massive cyberbullying. Why people do that? Mostly cyberbullies are motivated by fear, negativity, anger, and frustration. In extreme cases, they might be suffering from a mental disorder or might be a psychopath. There is a common misconception about cyberbullying that your social status doesn’t matter in this case. Anyone can be a victim of cyberbullying. A recent study shows that females are more vulnerable to cyberbullying. From big celebrities to top silicon valley entrepreneurs, all have faced cyberbullying at least once in their lifetime.
- A decrease in face to face communication: People nowadays prefer texting over personal meetings as it easy to open up when someone is not looking into your eyes. It sounds a little bit poetic but it is a real fact. It’s hard to lie to someone else’s face. There is no fear of judgment while doing texting due to which kids have behavioral problems for which they require therapies like CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy) to overcome their insecurities that they develope during childhood. It also causes problems like loneliness and isolation which results in depression. Utilizing platforms like Twitter to arrange social meetups, hangouts is the best solution to overcome it.
- Desensitivity: People nowadays don’t think twice before abusing or hurting others on social media platforms like Twitter. Kids these days lack emotional sensitivity and awareness because of so much brainwashing that has been done by social media channels. Even adults sometimes can’t distinguish between what is real and what is fake. It’s about IQ (intelligent quotient) vs EQ(emotional intelligence). A perfect balance is needed for the good mental health of an individual. It has been proved in research that social media decreases an individual’s EQ.
- Health: Whether it is mental or physical health, social media has been deteriorating both ever since it came.
Mental Health Problems
- Fear of missing out
- Low Self-Esteem
- Loss of reality
Physical health problems
- Burning eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Weight gain or loss
- Narcissism: Narcissists and sociopaths frequently seem to be addicted to social media. These platforms provide the perfect place to get attention and validation on a large scale. Ego boosting is like breathing for a narcissistic person. They use platforms like Twitter to create a grandiose view of themselves. The ego is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it’s your social mask that you are wearing, it’s the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants to control and is sustained by power because it lives in fear. It’s a well-said quote. A complete social media awareness program should be given to people especially teens about how social media works and how to not get attached to it emotionally.
Twitter for sports: Twitter has changed sports journalism rapidly in the past decade. Before 1980, we only had paper newspapers and radio to get all the sports news. Broadcasting was done on televisions, there was no concept of live matches. CBC, TNN, ESPN were big names in sports journalism. Before Twitter came, there were platforms, blogs and other news services covering the sports community news. But the features with which Twitter got released were attention-drawing. The character constraint, real-time chat support, live videos were considered fantastic tools to capture the sports world beautifully. Athletes, teams, fans, and media all together provide a 360-degree experience of the game.
On Twitter, a sportsperson can directly interact with the respective sports community for motivation and morale boost. Brands involved with the sports field increase their engagement by using hashtags related to the sports community. They also endorse their brand through noticeable sportspersons. In addition to it, with more and more broadcasters such as BskyB, UEFA Champions League and the NFL sharing live video highlights on Twitter, brands can now sponsor these tweets. The best part of it is that you can tweet to express your feelings while your favorite player is playing at the moment and see how others feel about it. This is how users often engage on Twitter by tweeting and retweeting about their feeling after a sports match. Twitter also helps in team identification. But it can be a drawback, especially for sportspersons. With that much active followers, sometimes they feel more vulnerable to criticism.
Frequency analyzation of users and other statistical parameters generate hidden and complex social networks and structures. It’s a deep web that always grows exponentially. From public relations to space missions Twitter helps us to connect different communities together by putting all of them in a single platform.
Twitter offers its mobile app for iPhone,iPad, Android, and Windows. In case you don’t have a smartphone, you can still tweet by sending a short message service(SMS). Some countries have a slow internet connection. To find a solution to the problem, Twitter released Twiter Lite. This shows the commitment of Twitter towards building customers. We went through both the pros and cons of using a platform like Twitter. And in the end, balance is what keeps us running. Completely avoiding something or blindly trusting any digital platform will not take you anywhere, the solution is always in the middle of extremities. Twitter has been evolving with time to battle in this ever-changing competitive world. Hopefully, it has much more to give us in the upcoming years.