Since we had a leap second added at the end of June, a lot of people were prompted to think about how they can better enjoy it, me included. But I also wanted to investigate what can actually happen in a second. Although a second is not a lot of time, the results are surprising.
In one second, a human can blink seven times, a commercial jet at cruising altitude covers about 244 meters and a meteor entering Earth’s atmosphere can travel 71 kilometres. But those are all small numbers when compared with the world of Twitter. On average, there are 6,000 tweets being sent each and every second, corresponding to a massive half a billion tweets being sent per day on this chirpy platform.
For a social media specialist turned content marketing consultant, half a billion tweets per day is an amazing stat and proof of how much Twitter has grown since I first joined it in 2009. Back then, there were only 2.5 million tweets being sent every day!
From the platform’s launch in 2006 until 2009, the volume of tweets grew at staggeringly high rates of around 1,000 percent growth per year. Today, the volume of tweets is still growing at around 30 percent per year according to internetlivestats.com.
Twitter has now become a vast universe with around 316 million active users; it’s the place for everything from conversations to break-ups, from football scores to art and even Big Ben gets an impressive number of retweets.
But what blows my mind and what should make businesses’ hearts skip a beat is that Twitter is part of this amazing focus group that is social media.
As the use of Twitter increases, people are starting to share more and more information about their preferences and lifestyle. With such a rich source of data, how can businesses use it to their advantage? How can they navigate this increasing mountain of big data? Analytics, of course!
According to our Business Tech Trends study, leading companies have already built strong analytics capabilities and are planning to increase the use of social insights across their business.
On a personal level, consulting my Twitter account analytics and having the skills to interpret them is instrumental for success in engaging with my followers. Knowing when the best time to tweet is, who my followers are, which influencers are really worth engaging with, what type of content that I share or create is a real “conversation opener” gives me a clearer picture of my personal account. I can use this insight to better meet my own objectives on Twitter and at the same time enjoy using the platform.
The challenge for businesses on Twitter is very similar. They face a constant need to go beyond simply reporting the metrics from their Twitter activities and instead build capabilities that allow them to extract usable insights from Twitter data. And with half a billion tweets per day to build that insight from, social analytics becomes an essential tool for organizations to create better customer engagement, develop better products, and build better digital content that drives action. Data-driven organizations exploit this and turn it to their advantage.
The #IBMandTwitter announcement highlighted some examples of how companies can extract insights from Twitter data, but I would like you to think about a little hypothetical example.
Let’s say there’s a coffee-shop chain that wants to find out more about the #coffee conversations on Twitter. Here are some things they might uncover:
– Patterns in coffee consumption: when, where and what are people drinking? (Did you know that there’s a coffee beverage called Jelly Frappuccino?)
– Brand sentiment: what’s the buzz around their products, any specific complaints, what do customers like or dislike?
– New networks, relationships and ecosystem players: who are the influencers, which other companies might be good to partner with, which customer segments exist that the chain could address with targeted content and offers?
– Insight to inform: what business actions should they take next to better satisfy their customers and stay ahead of their competitors?
Armed with insights from data, our coffee chain will get better at delivering what its customers love.
So why not grab a cup and get back to sending out some of those half billion tweets. Yours may not be as awesome as this first tweet from space, but they’ll get pretty close, I am sure! And the next time you glance at the time ticking by – just remember how much richer your Twitter treasure trove just became.
Data did that.
A close-up on Raluca:
Raluca Dode recently joined the IBM team in Bucharest, Romania. She has almost six years of experience in social media and is very passionate about content marketing and how social and content can transform businesses. Her professional experience includes activities in connected fields such as integrated marketing, social media management, online marketing, community management and influencer relation strategies. Since working in IT, Raluca has also developed a strong passion for gadgets, sci-fi, artificial intelligence and comic books. If you follow her on twitter @ralucade, you will also find that she is very passionate about everything coffee.
At a height of just 5 feet 1 inch, she’s the last one to feel when the weather changes, but the first in earthquake detection.