Twitter is So Difficult

by Vered DeLeeuw

The title of this blog post is courtesy of a search that someone performed, which ended up landing on this blog. When I saw the search in my blog analytics, I smiled. It’s true: Twitter IS difficult. Here’s why, and how to deal with it:

1. You follow people, and they don’t follow back. Even if you realize that you shouldn’t take it personally, the reality is that unless you’re a celebrity or a widely recognized brand, it’s very difficult to grow your Twitter account. My experience is that even for the most intelligent, articulate accounts with on-topic tweets and a good mix of original thoughts, links to articles and questions, you can expect between 10-20 percent of the people you follow to follow you back.

How do deal: This just means that you need to be patient. Twitter accounts take a long time to grow – usually many months. There’s no need to panic and buy followers – this just buys you uninterested followers that don’t really matter. Keep following a certain number of people weekly, unfollow those who don’t follow back, keep the account high-quality in terms of the tweets you issue, and eventually you should get a decent number of followers who actually interact with you and care about what you have to say.

2. No one listens to you on Twitter! For many people, Twitter is a great place to interact with a group of people they care about (friends or customers). But for many others, Twitter is not really a place they go to for interaction – they’re more into broadcasting. So they issue many tweets each day, but they don’t read other people’s tweets. In addition, the Twitter feed moves so fast, especially if you follow many people, that any one tweet you issue has very little time to get exposure before it gets pushed down the feed by newer tweets.

3. Jury is still out when it comes to Twitter ROI. Twitter is a noisy, vibrant place. It can be a lot of fun if you have a couple of hours to kill, but for marketers, there’s the question of whether Twitter is worth the time. I can tell you that for some of my clients Twitter is valuable because it enables them to connect with industry analysts (B2B) and with mom bloggers (B2C) – both groups use Twitter heavily. But in terms of traffic, Twitter sends most of my clients very little traffic.

So yes, Twitter is difficult. But so are blogs and Facebook pages, which are notoriously difficult to grow. As long as you know what the challenges are and are prepared to be patient as you work to overcome them, any of these social media channels, or all of them, can serve you well.

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