To tweet – or not to tweet . . .

Social media columnist
Social media columnist

Recently many people have said they are going to leave Twitter, or not use Twitter, and that it’s just not relevant any more for them. But it’s not necessarily Twitter that’s the problem, as it’s often the users themselves that are the issue.

There is either too much automation or, in some cases, not enough. Remember, social media is for engagement and building your brand, and people who use Twitter for that purpose see great success.

To Automate or Not to Automate: Personally I believe that it is important to automate at least some of your content as the reality is that you can’t spend your whole life on Twitter - you do have a business to run.

Automation can be a genuine asset to the busy business owner, if used wisely. You can set notifications and create lists to alert you to tweets you want to respond to or retweet. Using one of several automation tools on the market, you can choose to retweet immediately or, if you don’t want your retweets to look bunched together, can schedule them to appear in the future.

I find totally frustrating the accounts where clearly the business owner allocates part of their day to Twitter so posts all their content for the day at one time, often early in the morning. Your own Twitter timeline is then filled with their tweets one after each other. This is an instance when automation would really help as the tweets soon disappear and probably miss their intended audience. They would have been far better spaced out throughout the day or timed around the periods when their target audience is on Twitter.

Why Twitter Is Still Relevant and Useful: Twitter is still a formidable social media outlet that businesses should continue to use for the near and far future. There are many reasons for that:

Twitter is still informative – Compared to other social networks, it’s still easier to find information about groups, causes, and businesses via Twitter search. Hashtags make it easy to compile the information, and people are still having important conversations on Twitter.

You can engage with anyone – Due to the way Twitter works, you can potentially connect with anyone whether you follow them or not, and vice versa. Due to the ease of sharing and the ease of tagging people, before you know it you could be in a conversation with someone famous or at least famous in your group.

It’s very responsive – Using Twitter on mobile devices is still easier than using other social media on mobile devices. There is still a lot you can’t do with mobile on Facebook that you can do with Twitter.

Search is easier – It’s so easy to filter out the things you don’t want to see. You can look at only tweets for a particular topic which makes finding trends super-fast and easy. You can easily study your audience and potential audience on Twitter.

Due to these factors, it’s important for businesses to realise that Twitter is still a useful tool for engagement, research, and promotion. You just have to do it right. If you are having issues with getting results from Twitter, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Don’t Pass Up Everyday Opportunities: Tweet about what you’re doing right now, and ask your employees and your contractors to do this as well. Make it relevant to your audience. For instance, if you’re working on a new eBook, say so. “5000 words down on my new eBook!” is a great example of a tweet that will get attention of your audience, and likely some ‘congratulations’ tweets too. What fabulous interaction, from just a simple update that you can capitalise on.

Your Twitter followers not only care about your day and what you’re doing - enough to read your tweets and correspond about them, they’ll also be happy if you share anything profound or fun from tweets of other people who you follow. Sharing, commenting, and engaging are all important aspects of being on Twitter. Without those three things you won’t be successful. So, don’t ditch the automation but use it and Twitter for all it’s worth, because it is still very relevant in social media marketing today.

BREAKING NEWS

The rapid pace of change continues at both Facebook and Twitter with both platforms continually introducing new features or rolling out recently tested improvements to all users.

Facebook: Facebook Launches Canvas: Facebook Canvas offers “a new post-click, full-screen, immersive mobile ad experience on Facebook that loads nearly instantaneously.”

Facebook Rolls Out Reactions Globally: Facebook launched “Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way” and has made it available worldwide.

Facebook Brings Live to Android and More Countries: Facebook will “start rolling out the ability for people on Android to share live video.” Facebook is starting the Android rollout in the U.S., “with more countries coming soon.”

Facebook Opens Instant Articles Program to All Publishers: Facebook “will be opening up the Instant Articles program to all publishers – of any size, anywhere in the world.”

Instagram: Instagram Adds Two-Factor Authentication for Accounts: Instagram confirmed it is “beginning to roll out two-factor authentication,” which will ask users to “verify a phone number” in addition to an email and password before granting access to an Instagram account

Twitter: Twitter Updates Embedded Timelines: “The new timeline features a clean, modern design which showcases expanded photos, videos, GIFs, and more. It’s fully responsive, and it includes support for several new media types, including polls.”

Twitter Introduces Two New Customer Service Tools: Twitter released “two new tools to help businesses provide even better customer service on Twitter.” These tools include a simple way to “move from Tweets to Direct Messages” and “a new feature called Customer Feedback.”

Twitter Introduces GIF Search: “Now, sharing GIFs in Tweets and Direct Messages is even easier with [Twitter’s] new GIF search.”