The rise of Twitter

Posted on September 12, 2009 
Filed Under Social Media

A Burson-Marsteller July 2009 study of Fortune 100 companies surprisingly found that more companies had a presence on Twitter (54%) than on Facebook (29%).

Comparing the use of Twitter vs. Facebook vs. corporate blogs, the study states about one-fifth of Fortune 100 firms only used one of the three channels and those companies were overwhelmingly likely to choose Twitter (76%) over Facebook (14%) or blogging (10%).

Companies that used two of the three channels were most likely to have a blog plus a Twitter account (64%).

Many of the companies surveyed do not even have a blog (68 percent) but instead have embraced Twitter.

So what are these companies using Twitter for?
1. Company news updates
2. Customer service
3. Direct marketing responses
4. Promotions, deals and contests
5. Employee recruitment

Examples of companies on Twitter: @SearsDeals, @WalmartSpecials, @Lowes, @BestBuy, and @VerizonNewsroom. Many have multiple accounts eg: ATT has accounts for Small Biz, Mobile Music, News, and Job Recruitment among others.

Earlier, Compete reported that Twitter and Facebook had pretty flat months in July and August 2009.

Twitter chalked a sliver of rise in uniques of 1.27% with 23.58m visitors but a -2.99% drop in visits, down to 148.65m. Facebook had 122.22m unique visitors in August; a -0.37% drop compared to July, but it grew to 2.2b visits in the same period, rising 4.69%. MySpace, Bebo and hi5 dropped unique visitors by -6.73%, -7.68% and -15.36%, respectively.

An earlier report from comScore, states that Twitter passed a fairly big milestone in July of 50 million unique visitors worldwide, reaching 51.6 million unique visitors at the end of the month. In US visitors, Twitter grew to 21.2 million uniques from 20m in June, representing 41 percent of traffic. International visits now represents 59 percent of traffic.

Note that estimates only count traffic to whereas many users may not even go to the site and update via various popular Twitter clients ie. Tweetdeck, Twitterfeed, Twhirl, Twitterberry, Twitterrific, Twitterfon, Hootsuite and Seesmic.

Mashable: Flat month for social media
Burson-Marsteller and Fortune 100 social media study
Burston-Marsteller report on Slideshare
eMarketer: Marketers embrace Twitter over Facebook


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