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Twitter leans to the left

Twitter leans to the left

It can seem as if Twitter is now the barometer of public opinion. Every TV and radio show uses this handy means of testing the public mood. However, new research from America finds that the micro-blogging site can be well off the mark as a measure of the national mood.

Pew Research Centre looked at Twitter’s take on eight big politics stories and compared it with good old-fashioned opinion polling.

They found Twitter wasn’t a very true representation of public opinion as reflected in traditional polling (which is what Pew are selling, it should be remembered).

Twitter loved Barack Obama’s victory in the last American election and was behind him in the television debates. Twitter was also more liberal than the rest of the nation when it came to California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

However, in 2012, Twitter went conservative. The sentiment of the site’s users was more conservative than the nation as a whole on the President’s State of the Union address and his choice of Secretary of State.

Perhaps more interesting for small business owners is that Tweeters are more likely to share negative opinions than positive ones. It’s a message to deal with any complaints as quickly and comprehensively as you can.

Twitter is a wonderful way to speak to customers, but it should perhaps be borne in mind that it is not the be all and end all. Its users tend to be what are called ‘early adopters’ – the sort of people who have the latest iPhone and really take an interest in gadgets and technology. It’s also a perfect shortcut to public opinion for the media – members of which, are by the nature of their work early adopters - so Twitter has become a shortcut to ‘public opinion’ and the social media site that gets the most attention.

There aren’t any completely accurate figures for Twitter usage in the UK, but the most recent surveys suggest that there are 34 million accounts registered to UK users. Facebook has around 33 million accounts here, but that is after a big purge of duplicate and fake accounts.

Social media should be part of every businesses marketing mix these days, it’s no longer an optional extra. But don’t be fooled into thinking that Twitter is a completely accurate reflection of the public mood, it plainly isn’t. Use the social media sites that suit you and that your customers use and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

Ask Toolkit about our social media set up services, which will help you start up a fabulous looking business account – we’ll even upload your first YouTube video for you - and get the most out of your streams.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.