Is Twitter Dying?
This post was updated on 9/28/2020
Is Twitter Dying?
That’s the big question on every digital marketer’s mind now-a-days.
The scary thing is that it is not a totally absurd question. In recent months, Twitter has gone through some hard times. Facebook Live’s emergence has smothered Periscope. There have been key departures of some higher-ups. Growth has become stagnant. Vine has been shut down. 9% of its global work force has been terminated. All of these seem to spell doom for the social media platform that once seemed to dominate everything.
So the question remains: is Twitter dead?
Well folks, despite everything I just listed and what you may believe, I’m here to tell you Twitter is not dead. Is it hurting? Definitely. But, dead? No.
What I think the case is with Twitter is that people and businesses alike are mistaking their lack of success on the platform with the overall demise of the entire thing. For me, there is one big reason companies have started writing off Twitter. It is one single, solitary hurdle that a majority of marketers cannot get past.
Twitter is a process
The trouble many companies have when it comes to Twitter is patience. Your Twitter profile is not going to blow up overnight just because you tweet something every day. It requires a little more activity then that.
While services like Hootsuite are helpful for getting your tweets out, a profile that is successful cannot rely on scheduled tweets alone. Successful Twitter use entails constant engagement. Several updates a day are basically mandatory and you must be able to show a commitment to engagement.
Unlike LinkedIn or Facebook, when people respond to a Twitter post, they expect a comment back. Being that Twitter is a much more social and intimate environment, you cannot let responses (unless they are obvious trolls) and other engagements go unacknowledged. A successful Twitter account has a little back and forth with its audience. It reaches out to inspire discussion and engagement. It interacts directly with other companies and brands.
Long story short: you can’t half-ass Twitter, you have to be all-in in order to make it work.
If you want an example of someone who is rocking Twitter right now, look no further than the red-headed hamburger shop. No doubt you’ve seen some of the inventive – and bizarre – tactics Wendy’s has recently adopted on Twitter. If you haven’t, I suggest you hop over there after this to check them out. Wendy’s has been on a full-court press of memes, roasting followers and incorporating other companies when interacting with their followers.
And as strange as it all is, it is actually working. If you take a look around you’ll see others trying to replicate them. Here are a couple of my favorites from the last couple days.
So we can take a quiz that tells us which Transformer is our spirit animal
— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 15, 2017
We totally food
— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 14, 2017
Trick question. Wendy's is heaven
— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 14, 2017
Wendy’s has been playing up this persona for a while now, but do you think they just decided this randomly one day? No. Finding the right personality and voice on Twitter for your company can take some time and adjustment. It is another part of the process. The way you present yourself over other social platforms, emails or on your website are going to differ vastly from the way you do on Twitter.
It’s the nature of the beast and another part of the process of building success on Twitter. If you’ve been struggling on Twitter, change up your style to give your profile some originality and creativity. Trial and error is a big part of Twitter, so take the time to find out what works and what doesn’t – something some companies have decided they don’t have the time for.
So no, Twitter is not dying it’s just misunderstood. Certainly Twitter is not for every business was built for and will not have the success that others will. But, any company with the commitment, patience and energy has a fighting chance of making a splash. Don’t give up on this old bird quite yet, guys.
Nearly four years later it is safe to say Twitter isn’t dead, and isn’t anywhere near close to dying. We have seen Twitter, as much of a shouting chamber as it has become in recent years, continue to be an effective social media platform for brand communication and awareness… even if it has become a difficult environment to web traffic from. However, the principles I outlined all these years ago are still true: Twitter isn’t for everyone. You need to have the right audience, right brand, and the time and attention it takes to be hyper-active.
Twitter may not make sense for you… so which platform does?
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