Twitter Is Worthless – And Other Social Media Generalizations

Social Media is the hottest thing since dial-up AOL. While Facebook may not be top of the heap forever and our favorite celebs may stop telling us soon about what they ate for lunch via Twitter (unlikely in the near future), social media, in one way or another, is here to stay.

But according to some recent research, not a ton of people are reading your Tweets.

Why is that? Well, it could be because even though people are subscribed to your Twitter feed, they’re using a third party system to view only the feeds they’re interested in. Or it could be because they’re boring.

The hot buzzword in social media is engagement. Are you interacting with your brand’s fans? Are you interacting at all… or are you just blasting things out. “I added 20 photos to the album ‘Events’ on Facebook.” I’m sure that’s very compelling.

A great thing with digital marketing is that we can anylyze interactions easier than with some other media. For example, the “Hidden From News Feed” stat on Facebook.

The above is a grab this month from one of our clients. Only around 3,000 fans, but less than 30 are “hiding” the page. What’s hiding? It’s when someone “Likes” your page on Facebook, but has decided your posts are too frequent, annoying or otherwise irrelevant to their personal interests. The same way you hide your “friends” who are constantly checking in via FourSquare, playing Farmville or otherwise updating you on their life every hour, on the hour. It’d be great if this brand had 500,000 fans… but for the time being, we’re happy to have 2,970 out of 3,00 who don’t think we’re annoying.

A few brands we work with have their Twitter feed streaming to their site’s homepage. To me, that’s a great idea. Even if someone doesn’t follow them on Twitter, the feed is helping to keep things fresh. Assuming what is being Tweeted is worth reading.

I (Bill) personally use Twitter a great deal for interacting with people relevant to our clients (both through my own account and the acounts we manage for our clients). We pitched story ideas, helped forward the initiatives of colleagues and otherwise cemented relationships. But this only for some of our clients and with a certain subset of consumers. It won’t work every time, for every brand.

So what’s the secret to social media? There isn’t one. Should your brand be on Twitter or Facebook? The short answer is yes, in one way or another. However, look hard at what you have to offer via these tools, what your consumers want to see and how much time you can devote to things people will want to know about. Devote time to where your audience is. Interact and engage in an appropriate manner. Don’t be “that guy.”