Trim the Herd. But don’t get culled- Twitter Q1 14 Comment and Analysis

Trim the Herd. But don’t get culled- Twitter Q1 14 Comment and Analysis.

Boom.  11% off Twitter’s share price.  $38 down from all-time high of $74.  Do Twitter have a problem or does the market just not get how to value Social Media stocks?  Perhaps a bit of both.

This blog is about the elephant in Jack Dorsey’s room.  The Problem: Engagement.

An example: Blackberry are a great company.  They have some great products.  They have 122k Twitter followers.  They rarely give their followers anything of value via Twitter.  But they still have 122k followers.

Are 122k busy business people really interested in watching Blackberry adverts every hour or so?

No.  But we all know Social Media is the future.  It is the way to connect with your existing customers, potential customers and the wider world.  So what should we do?

Let’s take a step back. 

I was never a big fan of social media. It seemed like the worst of regular newspapers; all comment, no analysis.  An unedited soap box for unqualified, bigoted narcissistic self-proclaimed critics to comment on dull, irrelevant trends, while garnering an audience that they could ever hold in real life.*

But are those audiences real?  I fear not**

People are told they need to ‘do social media’ for work, to stay up to date, to be relevant.  So they sign up and follow everything industry relevant.

Great, a new person to evangelise to!  Or not.  Twitter 11% hit was almost entirely down to people not engaging as much with their time lines.

Twitter knew this was coming.   Twitter have already taken steps to increase engagement.  They changed the sign up process as they knew if you follow more people at the start, you are more likely to stay engaged.  To a point.  Twitter realised this could not continue ad infinitum.

Enter the Twitter Mute Button.  Twitter’s way of saying ‘trim the herd’.

My gut feel is the mute button will be here to stay.  The Mute Button will be Twitter’s version of the Facebook/ LinkedIn algorithm that means you don’t see everything that is posted straight away.

Don’t be part of the Twitter cull. 

As a business you do not want to be muted.  Being muted is bad news.  All those 122k of followers you have spent years building – useless (unless you are willing to pay***)

The solution is simple.  Be useful:

1. Add value (or failing that comic value) to people’s Twitter stream.  Good Content is the key.  Blindly pushing your products is not.

2. Get up close and personal.  Respond to people.  Do this on their Twitter Feed, personal message or even better, via email.

If this seems like a lot of work, employ someone to do it.  If you want an engagement strategy that transcends social media, better get Jammin’

*Proof: You are reading this. #analyticsego

** None of this applies to Justin Bieber followers.  None of the 51 million followers would follow J-Bizzle if they did not truly adore him.  The shame is a cross they must bear.

*** I predict Twitter will use the mute button to monetise access to people that have muted you.

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