Hitwise data released yesterday shows that Twitter has continued its inexorable rise in popularity, with UK internet visits to the micro-blogging site up by six times since the beginning of the year – leading to its entry into the top 50 UK websites for the first time.
Whilst the name Twitter and all its related Tweet-isms might be breeding ennui in some jaded marketers, it’s also the case that according to Hitwise this site is receiving
‘more UK internet visits than the Daily Mail, RightMove, MSN UK Search, Directgov, and all retail websites – with the exception of eBay, Amazon UK, Play.com and Argos’
- all of which probably pay large parts in many traditional online media plans.
Not only is that a whole lot of eyeballs but Twitter is also proving to be a valuable referrer of traffic. Hitwise reports:
‘As well as being the 50th most visited website in the UK, it was also the 36th biggest source of traffic to other websites in the UK during March’.
All this activity has lead to a rapid growth in the amount of attention paid to Twitter in companies’ marketing strategies, according to Econsultancy’s UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report, released last week. Compared to last year’s 3%, this year 49% of marketers cited in the report are including Twitter in their social media marketing mix.
Ideally this new focus on Twitter would be part of a holistic social media marketing strategy with the tool being chosen to fit the target audience and set objectives – not just a bit of ‘me too’ activity. Sadly the same report carries evidence that this might not be the case – 19% of respondents aren’t tracking their activity at all and 49% have admitted that they have no idea how successful or otherwise their campaigns have been.
So, we can see that there are sound reasons for brands to engage with Twitter – but it’s essential to first identify a clear purpose for the activity, alongside a set of objectives against which you can then measure your success and justify your investment.