Is Twitter a time-waste for brands?

by Kristina Knight

With all the talk about the importance of social networks in the New Year, a recent development may put a pall on socializing for brands. What happened? A new book was released, several celebrities tweeted about it to their masses of fans and…only four additional copies of the tome were sold

The book, “Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks & How They Shape Our Lives”, may not be a juicy, scandal filled book; still it is surprising that only four books were sold after tweets by actress Alyssa Milano, news talker Bill O’Reilly and Pew’s Susannah Fox.

So, it Twitter a waste of time?

With the millions of consumers following the celebs, why weren’t more books sold? Could be the topic – many consumers aren’t interested in non-fiction titles, especially when there is no scandal attached. But the real culprit could be that having masses of random followers is a problem. Brands, instead, need to look at the influence of the consumers following them – and try to get even more influencers in their corner.

A recent Forrester Research report found that Mass Influencers (MI) are the consumers that brands, authors and businesses need to court. The problem? MI’s are hard to find. Only about 16% of the total American online audience are considered Massive Influencer’s. To find these massively influential consumers, the Forrester report indicates that brands need to do a bit more monitoring of social networks and posts about their brand, they need to better segment consumers on their lists of followers and then they need to engage.

To do that businesses need to study which types of social network posts, images or shared links are the most interesting to their followers – including MI’s. Creating more of those engaging posts will create and enhance the brand conversation rather than simple throwing out a link and hoping a group of shoppers catches on.

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