I like Twitter and so, it seems, do a lot of other people, but take-up of this micro-blogging service is by no means widespread even among bloggers. I attended my first London Bloggers Meet-up last night and talked to several experienced bloggers who were not convinced about the value of Twitter, despite apparently fitting the demographic profile of typical Twitter users.
According to a Pew Internet study on “Twitter and Status Updating”, American Twitter users tend to be younger and more mobile than most internet users, though – reports Tim Leberecht in Webware – the average age of a Twitter user (31) is slightly higher than users of other social-networking services such as Facebook (26). Use of Twitter and similar services drops off steadily after age 35, but is also strongly associated with the use of other social media and of wireless technologies.
Looking at the profile of a typical Twitter user, it strikes me that Twitter could be an excellent channel for organisations to build conversations with early career professionals (particularly ones with good networking and technology skills). We have already seen some UK construction organisations use social networks such as Bebo or Facebook as recruitment tools. Construction News reported last year on how ConstructionSkills used a Bebo profile called ‘ConstructionGirl121‘ to encourage teenage girls to consider careers in construction, gaining 100,000 extra hits to its careers website; and Building magazine has run online careers fairs and other virtual exhibitions (eg: Sustainability Now), patronised by firms such as Atkins.
The knack, of course, is to look at what media are more likely to be used by your target audience. For many young people, instant messaging, MSN and Facebook are more likely to be used than email to chat, swap news or organise social events. Even conventional websites won’t necessarily attract visitors unless they provide Web 2.0 tools that allow content to be found and shared quickly with networks of friends and followers.