Does Twitter’s ‘Small’ User Base Matter?

More regularly it seems stories are popping up saying Twitter may not be as relevant as it is made out to be. With a smaller amount of users doing a majority of the Tweeting, cases have been made that Twitter isnt catching on with a large enough crowd. We hear this especially loudly in higher ed with the ‘millennial’ conversation.  Add to this a recent chart released in Business Insider that shows a majority of the sharing of content happens within Facebook, Email and – gasp – Twitter. How can it NOT be relevant?

I think we can all finally agree that Twitter definitely has power for SEO and referrals as discussed by a recent blog via Hubspot. But, what about in creating and engaging a community? Are people willing to join, learn and live a Twitter lifestyle to become a part of the conversation? Its more involved than a Facebook kinda life, no? The two cross, but I’d say Twitter is a different type of user/interaction that carries over into Facebook and email activity.

My arguement would be yes, even though the engaged user base of Twitter is small and a minority do most of the Tweeting, arent those people the ‘thought leaders’, the key influencers? Do numbers really matter or does quality of engaged users and their networks offline to carry the message matter?

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One thought on “Does Twitter’s ‘Small’ User Base Matter?

  1. Comes down to my favorite argument: Quality vs. quantity. I have significantly more Facebook friends than I do mutual Twitter contacts (i.e. those who I follow who follow back). Yet I have *more* interactions on Twitter and, I’d estimate more *quality* interactions on Twitter. I choose to use the tool differently, that’s all.

    Guess I could also make a PC/Mac analogy (quelle horreur!). While more PCs are on the market, I’d wager that more design/creative/etc. work takes place on Macs. There’s what makes them especially relevant. So if Twitter represents a smaller yet more engaged audience, it’s still quite vital. Besides, it’s not like social networks are ever an either/or enterprise.

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