To Tweet or Not to Tweet? That is the Question.

To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question.

In a blog post published earlier this month, Jay Baer asked a question, which may be uncomfortable for marketers to discuss, but is nonetheless an important conservation to be had.

Is Twitter even worth the trouble in 2017?

Personally, I love using Twitter. I consider it to be the most social of social media networks. Whereas other networks are great for getting your content engaged with, Twitter excels far better than its peers at facilitating one-one conversation. It’s also an undisputed medium of choice for solving customer service issues.

However, while Twitter is far better at 1:1 engagement and helping you connect directly with your community, it seems to be a poor distribution network. If you’re trying to get clicks or drive engagement with your content i.e. getting people to actually read it, watch it, listen to it, and share it, then Twitter doesn’t seem to do that anymore. If you already enjoy a lot of brand equity or you’re a major influencer, then Twitter is a great platform for communicating with your fans or community. But, if you’re a new brand or your marketing strategy relies on getting people to engage with your content, then Twitter is not so helpful.

Twitter’s feed is an avalanche of information, which makes it hard for organic content as well as Twitter ads to stand out. As a result, brands are spending less time and money on Twitter, which if Twitter isn’t careful, could eventually lead to its demise. While it remains relevant in media and culture, Twitter will be in trouble if it fails to attract marketing spend. According to Baer, the average engagement rate on Twitter for brands is now a measly 0.049%, which includes all comments, likes, and retweets (not clicks). That’s less than the average click-through rate of the often mocked banner ad, which is at 0.05%. If Twitter is the new banner ad, should social media marketers and brands still be spending as much time on it?

Anecdotally, it concerns me that Twitter seems to have lost the average consumer. Most people I know outside of media or marketing do not use the platform unless they want to vent about politics or address a brand about a customer service issue. Twitter seems to be far more popular with early adopters, influential personalities, hipsters, and tech nerds than it is with the average Joe and Joanna.

All of this raises important questions for brands and marketers. While Twitter still has an engagement rate worthy of note, it may not be the best use of your resources. If your current marketing strategy relies upon a lot of audience interaction and click generation on Twitter, Jay Baer suggests that it’s probably time for an overhaul of that strategy.

What do you think? Have you had successful engagement on Twitter? Do you think the platform is still an essential one for most brands?

Please feel free to weigh in on this discussion and let me know your thoughts!

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