The Viability of Twitter

Recently, several clients have had their Twitter accounts locked down due to organic follow back practices. You know, the cheat we all do (and won’t own up to) of following people with similar interests to your business in hopes of a follow back. After all, that’s what sites like Tweepi and iUnfollow are for. To help clean all that up and make the practice easier.

But it seems Twitter is cracking down on this practice by treating it as ‘suspicious activity’, especially if it’s done aggressively. There are a ton of more passive organic approaches, but this one guarantees growth and usually with followers who would be actively interested in (and hopefully engaged with) your product or service.

This crackdown lead to me taking a hard look at how Twitter stacks up against other social media (SM) channels.

Facebook is still the behemoth of the SM industry. It’s the billion-dollar elephant in the room when it comes to where your ad dollars (and time) should be spent. But it used to be that ‘every four Twitter followers you have are worth one Facebook like’, basically saying that Twitter followers were a dime-a-dozen.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Every single one of my clients, as well as a multitude of their industry peers, have hands down more Facebook likes than Twitter followers.

I have a couple theories about this. First, the general buzz around the industry is that Twitter just isn’t the popular platform it used to be. Too many followers means too many tweets passing by your dash, making the whole process of Twitter overwhelming.

Second, Twitter’s push to integrate paid campaigns has fallen flat because of how fleeting a tweet is. It also doesn’t help that their CPC is ridiculously higher than Facebook’s.

For example,  I recently ran a Facebook likes campaign and a Twitter followers campaign for one particular client, and the results were vastly different. My Facebook CPC was $.59, whereas my Twitter CPC was $1.05, and I only got a fraction of followers on Twitter. I ended up doing another follow-back campaign (before getting locked out) and achieved three times as much in my two hours of work than I did running a paid campaign for four days.

Now, tweets themselves are still ridiculously popular. Someone says that perfect gem, and it’s going to end up all over the internet (thank you, Rupert Murdoch!) — good or bad. But that means nothing when a company has to toe a particular line with what they put up (you seemed to have skipped that class, Rupert Murdoch!). Most can’t (or won’t) be controversial enough to be noticed, which means organic growth is glacially slow.

So that leads to my query: Is Twitter even worth it anymore? Sure, it’s handy to have when it comes to answering questions and getting out alerts, but the push for growth… Do you think it’s as important as it used to be? Or is it time to start putting that effort into other, trendier channels, like Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, or Yik Yak?

Sound off and tell me your thoughts. An inquiring mind wants to know.

(Blog 2/104)

Posted by Stephanie Cole

Leave a Reply