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Small businesses find big value in Twitter

25 марта 2009

Small businesses are making more use of Twitter than larger companies, research has found.

Even large technology companies, which are typically early adopters of new technology, remain wary of Twitter, the social networking site, which allows users to post short messages.

Just 19 of the UK’s top 100 technology companies are using Twitter, according to research by ntl:Telewest Business, a division of Virgin Media . By comparison, in the US all the top technology companies use the service for marketing or recruitment purposes.

A study published last week by O2, the mobile operator owned by Telefónica, estimates that more than 700,000 smaller businesses are using Twitter, sending 3m messages on the network every day.

According to O2’s survey, 16 per cent said they had saved more than £5,000 on marketing and recruitment costs, while almost a third had saved more than £1,000 since joining Twitter.

Three-quarters of corporate Twitterers used the service to promote their business, while a third said they used it to monitor competitors. Many of the 500 companies surveyed by O2 said Twitter was more popular than blogging, or rival networks Facebook or LinkedIn. “The risk in not using Twitter is that these companies will fall behind transatlantic competitors,” said Stephen Beynon, managing director of ntl:Telewest Business.

In the US, Comcast and Dell have become well known for using Twitter for fielding customer service enquiries and heading off online criticism. Twitter’s search function allows brands to scan for their name and see what people are saying about them.

But more UK companies are expected to join three-year-old Twitter as its popularity rockets here, particularly in the wake of celebrity Twitterers such as Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Phillip Schofield.

Hitwise, a division of Experian which tracks web audiences, said Twitter entered the UK’s 100 most popular websites in March.
Now ranking at number 44, it receives more traffic than each of the national newspapers’ homepages, apart from the Daily Mail.

Источник: Financial Times

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