Are Firms Focusing Too Much Effort on Twitter?

Twitter is a popular social media platform for the top Detroit-area professional service firms. In fact, all of the 25 top firms we studied use it. And 58 percent of all 8,300 social media updates posted by those firms over a three-month span were posted on Twitter, as opposed to LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube.

At first, this popularity seems logical, as it’s a quick and easy process to post a 140-character Tweet.

But the real question is: Is that where your precious social media time is best spent? Or, more specifically, is your time there being spent in the right way

Our Social Media Use by Professional Services (SMUPS) study of 25 top Detroit professional service firms showed that the typical firm posts on Twitter about three times more frequently than on either LinkedIn and Facebook … despite the fact that the firm has almost 15 times more followers on LinkedIn (167,688) and five times more followers on Facebook (31,956) than it does on Twitter (11,372).

Why spend more time targeting fewer followers?

Besides the smaller audience the typical firm has on Twitter, the sheer volume of the half-billion Tweets posted every day further reduces the odds of your firm’s Tweet breaking through the clutter – especially when its half-life of a Tweet is just 15 minutes or less.

Of course, every situation is different … and for some, Twitter may be the perfect primary social media platform. For others, it may be just one of several important channels. There are no one-size-fits all answers.

If you are using Twitter, here are some things to consider when posting to help ensure the time you’re spending there is being used most effectively:

Follow Back – Our study shows that while firms have an average of 11,732 followers on Twitter, they only follow 477 accounts (about 4 percent) in return. It doesn’t make sense to follow everyone back … but it’s worth the time to make sure you’re following more of the people who follow your firm – especially key reporters, analysts, industry experts and other influencers.

Retweet, Retweet – Our findings indicate that only 17 percent of firm Twitter posts are Retweets of others’ posts. Try to increase that number by finding helpful and interesting industry-related articles or links to repost. Not only will this show you have your finger on the pulse but it will also build goodwill with key journalists and thought leaders whose posts you Retweet. It can also help to expand your following.

Picture This! – Currently, two-thirds of professional service firm Tweets do not feature any visual content. As we all know, visuals boost readership and engagement immensely. Just like you would on Facebook or when issuing a press announcement, make sure to include a photo, graph, infographic or video with your Twitter posts whenever possible.

Post Your Positive Press – Out of all the Tweets posted by the firms we studied, only 11 percent of the posts related to media coverage the firm had received. A Tweet (or Retweet) is the perfect, quick way to share positive coverage that you’ve earned, so be sure to link to articles that showcase or position your firm. Not only does this highlight and leverage credible third-party commentary on your company, but it also helps the reporters that cover you firm, as they are increasingly being evaluated by the number of shares, likes and comments their stories generate.

Overall, the key to social media success is to review your specific situation and look at the real-world data, rather than hunches … as well as your audience and goals to help guide your social media decisions.

For more information on our SMUPS study findings, email us at or call us at 248-269-1122.
Bianchi Public Relations’ professional service social media study reviewed social media usage for a three-month period in early 2015 by top Detroit professional service organizations (law firms, accounting firms, engineering companies, architectural firms and staffing companies) as ranked by Crain’s Detroit Business.

With experience in assisting professional service firms with media relations and related digital/social content needs, Bianchi PR has earned recognition as a “go-to” PR firm local and global companies looking for market knowledge, local connections and PR expertise. For more info, visit

One Comment

  1. Posted March 7, 2016 at 2:46 am by Uwe Schmidt

    From our experience in Germany clients are not that much focusing on Twitter. It’s a crucial part of the communications strategy but the demand is broader. Beyond electronical media they still like clippings in print media, plus those in online media. In addition, they ask for online PR with a strong impact on SEO and last but not least, blogger relations have become more and more relevance. Read our blog on this:

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