Is Twitter Just Hype (Twitter vs Facebook vs MySpace)?

Every online marketing firm, including ours, always includes some sort of Twitter marketing option. Most of the time it isn’t by choice, because our clients read all about Twitter and buy into the hype that it’s an effective marketing tool. But is Twitter really all that popular than say, MySpace? Most of us already know that with the dawn of Facebook, MySpace sort of took a backseat in the online social environment. Even with riding in the backseat, MySpace still is able to control more user attention than Twitter.

But why are we lead to believe that Twitter is top dog when it comes to user traffic? The simple answer is “the media”. If you look at a recent Google Trends chart comparing search traffic with Facebook and MySpace, Twitter ranks so far down it sits at the bottom of the chart. What’s even worse are the signs of decreased traffic, which also holds true for MySpace. The interesting part is if you notice the “News Reference Volume” section, which basically means news articles related to Twitter, you will see greater coverage than Facebook and MySapce.

My theory of why the media industry is focusing on covering Twitter more than Facebook and MySpace is primarily because they themselves (the media) are very active with Twitter in distributing their content to users. If you can provide publicity to a platform that you use to help promote your own stories, why not try to help bring more users? It helps to sell more advertising and possibly subscriptions. Smart. The only problem is that Twitter in itself is not as interactive as Facebook. Because of that, it seems as though users don’t feel as engaged or entertained as they would be on Facebook, so the traffic numbers don’t seem to improve.

So what’s my point? Don’t believe in hype and always look at hard facts before you decide on which social media platform to promote your business on. Having a customized solution is critical to understanding where your business fits in online.

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