My post on Wednesday about the low engagement levels on Twitter triggered some great responses.
As I wrote, my ‘evidence’ was almost completely anecdotal but it seems to have resonated with a lot of people, many of whom have expressed concern at the value of investing heavily in social media if so few people are paying attention.
The poor response rate on Twitter – if you average better than half a per cent you’re world class – raises some important questions. Is it all a waste of time and effort? Is Twitter all hype?
My answer? No, to both. I think Twitter is an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to promote content, share news or raise awareness about pretty much anything. And I also believe the low level of engagement isn’t the issue it appears, and here’s why.
- It’s not a sprint, and it’s not a marathon. It’s an ultra-marathon.
- Real-time doesn’t and has never meant instant win.
- The Japanese have it nailed down – you need to adopt a (very) long-term way of thinking. Unless you’re throwing millions of dollars behind your campaign – which is going to be a financial loss no matter what you’re promoting – the anticipation of instant gratification is folly.
- Links you share today might only generate a handful of clicks, it’s true. But this is where consistency becomes key.
- If you assume success in a few days, or even a few weeks, then yes, you will fail, and Twitter will be ‘all hype’. I can guarantee it.
- It takes months, sometimes years to make this work.
- All those little victories, no matter how small, add up. Strong content is strong content. As the distance runners like to say: keep putting one foot in front of the other.
- If you quit, you lose. It’s really as simple as this.
- Think of success on Twitter as a giant Victoria Sponge that is made backwards. All those little crumbs keep adding up and joining together until you have your cake.
- Once you get there, don’t eat it all at once.
Twitter is here to stay. Sure, the company and the platform may not be with us in ten, maybe even 5 years. But the concept of micro-blogging, of sharing small, bite-sized and immediately digestible tranches of content is going to be with us for the long, long term.
Yes, the medium will evolve and adapt, and what we think of as social media now will seem prehistoric in a decade or two. But this is the beginning of a new age, and despite proclamations nobody fully understands what it really means or where it’s all going.
Bottom line? Twitter moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.