Time to read: 4.5 minutes.
Social media: It’s so important that “it will change everything…” so broad that it includes just about everything and so profound that nothing can measure it. To infinity and beyond! Sound familiar? When it comes to Twitter, there’s no shortage of nonsensical justification for Twittering. Just do it! But should your business Twitter? Should your intern experiment with it? How much ‘engagement’ is needed to realize an actual sale or lead? I’ll shine a light on finding the answer for your company.
I urge marketers to consider thinking more critically and analytically about Twitter and other ‘social media’ when it comes to expectation or results — and measurement of effectiveness. Resist people who talk about value in terms of “engagement” (rather than sales).
Unfortunately, most digital marketers believe Twitter to be tremendously valuable although they cannot tell you, concretely, why. Sound familiar? It gets more crazy. Twitter is the #1 most important Web marketing initiative this year — bar none. Why? Psshaw… do we need an answer really? I’m afraid we do. Here’s why I’m continuing to call bull on Twittermainia:
Twitter’s value perception is kept high by marketer’s disconnection with (denial of?) the way people actually use it.
No surprise — just like how most brands have no idea, really, how people consume traditional / mass communications media. The true value of Twitter, for most brands, is endlessly unknown… and it’s best kept that way so far as many marketing departments are concerned. This supports the perception of high Twitter value.
But this doesn’t earn marketers respect in the C-Suite. So, marketers, please listen up.
With every additional person you follow on Twitter the average ‘attention value per followed person’ decreases.
The number of Twitter followers is not a score — it’s a quantitative statistic. It’s like ‘minutes used on your phone plan’ or ‘number of claimed dependents.’ Why would anyone treat it as a qualitative score — a measure of social media success? (many do!)
Perhaps because doing so is based on a decades-old system of valuing what we think is real… think is actually happening with customers. The world of “brand advertising.” Under the “branding” values system we get excited by how many followers we’ve managed to corral with such little effort. We literally stop believing there is value in sales and leads. ‘Follower count’ matters more.
We tend to believe, “not only are these followers essentially voting for us they’re LISTENING to brand messages. By golly this is great! They’re not tuning out, they’re tuning in!” But here’s the problem.
Most people that follow Tweeters MISS what they’re saying — they’re not listening!
True. Why? Due to the volume of tweets and no real time monitoring device or quality filter.
Your Twitter followers are nearly worthless because they’re not following, nor loyal.
I’ll prove it. Think about how your company’s followers actually use Twitter. How you use it. How your CEO and CFO use it!
- The average follower does not use any real-time tweet monitoring device (they’re not HEARING tweets)
- It’s easy to follow — yet SERIOUS work to un-follow (they look interested but they’re not)
Can you, personally, relate to the above as a Twitter follower? I can… and I only follow a couple dozen people and use multiple real-time monitoring tools.
Most people that follow brands don’t have serious interest in what they are saying.
Brands often translate follower “votes” into “attentive listeners”. In fact brands love using that that word “followers” — loyalists! Right? Not really. Many were one-time curious onlookers — most of whom find your tweets rather useless.
Most business Tweeters are extremely self-centered — handing out coupons, talking about their latest blog posts. Brand marketers will claim these loyalists like that kinda stuff — kinda like when you go to your best friend’s party and he/she won’t shut up about themselves. ????
Followers will rarely if ever “un-vote” by un-following. Have you ever un-followed? Of course not. Although I’m sure you’d like to.
Rarely will Twitter users EVER un-follow ANYONE no matter how annoying. Why? They’re just like you — too busy living life to pour through the dozens if not hundreds of people not worth following — like your brand. They’ll just take the easy way out: abandon Twitter. This, too, is well documented yet somehow marketers igonore the facts. What do you think?