How SMEs are using Twitter. This might surprise you!

While working on the subject of how SMEs use social media I took the liberty to run a little research of my own, taking a look at some IT companies that I found on LinkedIn.

The results were surprising, even for myself.

Here's what I found. As I said, I selected 50 companies by running a search on Linkedin. Small businesses with 10-50 employees, IT industry, located in FL (if location matters)

After checking their Twitter accounts I was quite surprised to find that a whopping 38 percent of them (more than a third!) either didn't have a Twitter account or had one that was completely neglected with less than 10 followers.

Another third had an account with less than 100 followers.

Overall, more than two thirds (70 percent!) had a followers count less than 100 followers, and only 4 (FOUR!) companies had a more or less decent followers base of 500 and more.

Number of companies
Number of followers
0 or less than 10
500 +

I don't want to make any conclusions, but it's obvious that these companies leadership doesn't think that Twitter can be a useful tool for their business. And you know what? I don't blame them. The way many marketers are using Twitter, in fact, doesn't bring significant returns.

First of all, most of the companies' Twitter accounts are just boring. Let's face it, unless you're keenly interested in one specific topic (related to the company's services) or, for some reason, in this company's events such as shows, achievements, and employment opportunities, you won't find there anything of value.

I should admit, though, some tweets did caught my attention. However, not in the sense favorable to their authors.

I'd gladly share some of them with you (with some details omitted so we don't hurt any ones feelings + my comments)

Example 1. Tweeting about someone's location with no reference attached to it.

At XXXX's Dinner Reception ...    

At XXX's Steakhouse in XXX ... Amazing!

What is it? If someone wanted to share a link- there's no link provided. And who is at the reception or at the steakhouse? And why should it be of interest to me?

Example 2. One word tweets

XXXcorp@ XXXcorp Mar 10

- HR

XXXcorp@ XXXcorp Mar 10


Any suggestions what that could be? I'm left clueless... Not intrigued, clueless. Maybe it's some kind of a code, maybe a charade of some kind. But, sorry, I'm to busy for this kind of games.

Example 3. Opinionated statements 

- Mr Chavez is history ...

- Shut Down the Cardinals!!!!

Did any one told them not to mix their personal views with business? First of all, I don't care about your political convictions. You're more than welcome to share them on your personal account, but I didn't sign up to your company's account to debate them.

Besides, bringing up divisive issues that inspire rivalry (whether it's politics or sports) is not a good practice. You'd have to take a stand and some people might find it offensive. Not a great start for forging relationships with clients.

And, finally Example 4. Just blatant self- promotion

- Curious to know why some of the world’s biggest brands are choosing XXX?

No, I'm not. It's not communicating. It's advertising yourself. If you want to advertize your business chose another media.

In the next post we'll talk about some good practices that I found.

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