I may be wrong but in the past few months I’ve decided to talk about Twitter only at a small number of trainings. “But Fred, I follow the official Twitter numbers and they have been clearly growing. Also more people seem to be using this social network“. Well, that’s one of the problems. According to the audience, I prefer to focus on platforms that may yield better and faster results.
Here’s the deal: The more people you “follow” the busier your stream gets and the harder it is to digest the information. Only a minority of users know how to use Twitter really well, building a true listening station so you can read specific conversations, avoiding the clutter.
There’s an increasing amount of people using Twitter. The number of people they’re following happens to be increasing as well. The problem: There’s too much noise and people don’t see your message as often as they used to.
Those of you that have been using Twitter for a few years: Do you remember when you published a shortened URL in 2008 or 2009 and tracked the clicks along with response time? Your content would have traveled very far in a matter of seconds and get at least 5 to 10 immediate clicks. Now, you’ll be lucky if you get 1 or 2 clicks in an hour. Don’t take my word for it. Gary Vaynerchuk is going through the same problem…
So, is Twitter a bad tool now?
Twitter is still a powerful, real-time communication tool that can help you connect with customers and prospects. You will perceive the most value when people talk to you (publicly or privately) and you’re able to conduct short conversations. Publishing doesn’t have the same impact and your content won’t resonate much. Last year, Brian Solis said that the life span of a tweet was one hour. I believe, nowadays, that has probably dropped to one minute possibly.
When you define your customer/community and start working on your social media strategy, do consider Twitter but be very careful on the expectation.
If you’re a big brand or company that has a big portion of the audience on Twitter and/or many mentions already, you may expect to receive immediate interaction and faster results. On the other hand, if you are a small or medium sized business, you may find Twitter a good place to listen to strategic conversations and also have a dedicated real-time channel, available to connect with customers and prospects. However, do not count with a quick, tangible ROI.
How is Twitter working for you currently? Share your story below.