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October 23, 2017

Is Twitter a Dying Network?

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Twitter is an interesting platform. It takes a lot of heat from marketers and there are a couple reasons for that:

• Low engagement: According to Social Bakers, the average engagement rate of the top 25 most engaged profiles on Twitter is 0.07 percent.

• Twitter’s audience isn’t impressive: In Q2 of 2017, the number of U.S. monthly users actually declined.

• Spammy, automated platform: Nearly 48 million Twitter accounts are bots, and nine to 15 percent of tweets come from fake accounts.

This isn’t to say that Twitter has completely lost its luster. There most certainly is an argument to be made in support of Twitter. Today I’ll be covering several of the often unknown benefits that Twitter does provide, aside from tweets themselves.

What else can Twitter do?

Twitter Lists

You may have received a notification at some point or another that says you were added to a ‘list.’

These lists are a curated group of Twitter accounts. User’s can create lists ranging from a  simple list of their followers to a list of their favorite brand accounts.

Hold up for a second: This seems like a boring, almost unnecessary feature.

I assure you, it’s not.

The ugly part about Twitter is that there is literally so much activity going on that your feed is constantly changing and it’s hard to keep up.

Many of the people that follow you and many of the people that you follow are irrelevant.

Maybe they’re bots, or friends that share odd content, or simply colleagues in different industries.

Lists help you cut through all the clutter by organizing groups of people.

For example, you could create a list of your most engaged followers so that you can interact with them more. Or subscribe to a list of industry influencers and follow them all quickly.

By segmenting correctly, you can take advantage of Twitter in a more prepared way, rather than scouring the platform for certain opportunities.

Auto-Dm’s

Of course, this isn’t something that is offered by Twitter, but with apps like Crowdfire, it’s extremely easy to set up for Twitter.

I admit it. I send auto-DM’s.

Frankly, why not?

Most of the time, I offer an auto-dm of my best piece of content. I’m not asking for anything in return, just a chance for the follower to check it out.

It’s  a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself, let the new follower know what you do exactly, and offer some value.

I’ve successfully used auto-dm’s for product launches, giveaways and great pieces of content.

Think first about the type of followers you attract. Then think about what they would be interested in.

Serve it up in a hot DM and you’ll be sure to drive at least some traffic and subscribers every month.

One last trick is to try to generate a response:

“Hey @Follower, thanks for connecting! Why did you follow me?”

“Hey @Follower, tell me a bit about yourself.”

Content Promotion

I’ve talked about bootstrapping content promotion many times before.

Here’s one key strategy I’ve used in the past with a good amount of success.

If you write awesome, content, it’s your job to distribute that content to the people that will find it useful and want to share it with their followers.

Twitter can be a great place to do this. And, just to clarify, I am not talking about tweeting out your article.

I’m talking about cold outreach on Twitter.

First, search for similar articles that people have shared on Twitter. Let’s say you wrote a great piece on how to do local SEO.

Search for ‘how to local SEO.’

Next, open all these users up in separate tabs:

Now, start pitching your article to them either via a direct message or by swinging over to their website and finding their e-mail. Worse comes to worse, submit a form on their website.

When I have a solid piece of content that I’ve dedicated hours to, I like to target companies that share similar content.

Part of the reason for this is that they have dedicated social media managers that are not only looking for content to share, but also actively monitoring their DM’s.

If you actually have a valuable piece, they’ll respond positively.

Cold e-mail and outreach

Similar to the above point, you can leverage Twitter to connect with people and promote certain products and services, especially launches, betas and giveaways.

This isn’t about spamming across the board. Rather, this about using Twitter to find relevant people to reach out to via DM’s, emails, and website forms.

If you can find the right people, you can offer them value that they would actually want.

Plus, the more genuine you are, the better the results will be.

Similar to other social networks, you can see what users have liked, what they follow, and generally what they are all about.

Furthermore, people tend to include the information that you need within their bio, especially their website.

Say you have an idea for a health product. You could easily look up hashtags or influencers on Twitter, find their website, and get in touch with them for feedback.

Twitter Search

Twitter’s search feature allow you to search for relevant conversations, tweets and accounts.

Furthermore, you can look for hashtags, photos, videos, recent news, etc.

It’s a great feature because you can search for what is literally happening right that second. Of course, older material can come up, but it’s nice to be relevant in the moment.

Imagine if you found a hashtag that was used often and was in some way related to your offering.

You could search for that hashtag, open up all the users in separate tabs, and then personally message them.

But even more powerful…

Twitter Search 2.0: Twitter Advanced Search

Ahhhh, even more searching features to take advantage of.

It’s almost intimidating how many options you have in the Advanced Twitter Search interface:

This means that with a little creativity, we can leverage advanced search for both sales and marketing efforts.

In fact, Buffer wrote an entire article on the power of this tool.

They do it better justice than I could. At the end of the day, there are a ton of options.

This means you can engage in social listening, competitor research, brand reputation monitoring, content brainstorming and a heck of a lot more.

Opportunity is a good thing

Tweets may be losing value these days, although it will be interesting to see what happens as Twitter rolls out 280 character tweets.

Regardless, there is still a good deal of opportunity available for savvy marketers.

With so many people on the platform, along with information on those people, this means a chance to connect to the right ones.

And that’s really the only chance you need.

Take advantage of the many unknown features and get creative in your Twitter use.

Good luck!


avatar

Henry Foster is a digital marketer from the Boston area. He writes about social media, content marketing, and online growth strategies at IgniteMyCompany.com.

2 Responses to “Is Twitter a Dying Network?

    avatar Andrea Torti says:

    As you’ve stated, there’s still a lot Twitter can do to avert its decline.

    So, it’s not “dying” – it’s “embattled”, though.

    Personally I do think that Twitter has lost it’s luster but I would refrain from saying it’s dying. It’s still a focal point for many organizations and community’s nowadays. Are less people using it as before? Obviously and I believe the reason for that is because of other alternatives that are new, sassy and fresh such as Instagram and Pinterest and others. As long as they continue to try to innovate and add features it will be around for awhile.

    Just my 2 cents.

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