I originally wrote this post for Consonant Marketing in 2017 and boy, the times they are a-changin’. I definitely need to write a sequel.
Is Twitter Worth It?
280 characters. 330 million active users. Real-time engagement. Bots. Trolls. Politics. Arguments. Access. Is Twitter worth it? Let’s look into it.
Twitter provides instant access all of its users. You can literally tweet to or respond to anybody else with an account.* You gain access to journalists, friends, family, famous people, politicians, etc. Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a response… but you are given access. With this in mind, building relationships is possible on Twitter. That’s pretty powerful.
Large User Base:
According to Statista, Twitter has 330 million active users. That’s a pretty big number. One website with more accounts than the entire population of the United States.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter mostly provides a real-time user experience. In other words, you generally don’t see old tweets in your feed. This is helpful for tracking current events, emergency situations or responding to customer service requests in real-time.
Twitter’s search feature is amazing. It’s the most under-rated feature of the platform. You can search for anything and see recent tweets about any topic you choose. Additionally, it makes searching for your target markets simple and effective.
Twitter is essential for SEO. Your brand’s Twitter feed normally ranks at the top of page one Google rankings on searches. In some cases, a personal brand’s recent tweets individually appear in the results. Example below. Keeping SEO in mind, Twitter is a great place to share links and generate traffic to your website.
Twitter success is all about engagement. If your tweets aren’t getting likes, retweets or responses, they’re useless. Often, I see tweets containing bait messages, followed by 4-5 hashtags, a cheesy image and a link to a lead generation page. Those tweets are spam and some companies actually spend money on it. Here’s why it doesn’t work:
- Twitter users aren’t spending their time clicking on #leads, then reading the spam that follows.
- Hashtags are effective only when used in a coordinated messaging campaign. I’ve personally created hashtags that made it to the top trend on Twitter and I didn’t do it by typing, #Entrepreneur or #Success. It’s dumb and it doesn’t work.
- The only way to engage on Twitter is by doing it manually. Search for people who are discussing a topic to which you can add value and join the conversation.
Back in the day, Twitter trends were awesome. Trends were organic conversations that large groups of people engaged in about specific topics, all at the same time. Trends still exist, however during the 2016 elections, the trends became advertisements. Automated bots on both sides of the isle began pushing their desired narratives and Twitter actually began suppressing organic hashtags.
Gone are the days of Twitter actually letting the users know if a trend was promoted or not. Now, Twitter’s trends are almost all purchased and they’re almost always political. It’s not at all uncommon to see trends with less than 2,000 tweets. Those topics aren’t organic. They’re either pushed by automated bots or bought by big money advertisers.
Speaking of politics, do you want to cut your revenue in half?
Then, pick a side in politics and start tweeting about it from your company’s official Twitter account. Despite polls and political pundit predictions, 2016 proved that the US is still polarized politically. You will piss clients off and lose money if you tweet about politics. Don’t do it.
You only sell products and services that benefit political organizations on one side of every issue. There are companies out there that specialize in this sort of thing.
You develop political opinion content for a living. Twitter is essential for you.
There is no exception 3. It’s best to stay away from trends unless your brand has a message that directly contributes to the conversation in positive way and doesn’t piss off potential customers.
Because Twitter has basically become the number one place on the internet for people to fight about politics, it doesn’t hurt to advertise certain products to them. I wouldn’t recommend trading your Google or Facebook ads in for Twitter ads, but they are useful in certain circumstances.
So, Is Twitter Worth It?
Is Twitter worth it? Yes; however, strategy matters more than ever. Your brand’s products, service offerings, target audience, positioning and messaging are key factors in developing a successful approach to Twitter. For this reason, you need to invest your Twitter time and budget wisely. Ultimately, it pays off.
*A small percentage of users choose to make their Twitter accounts private. These users can only be contacted if your account follows their account.