Does Twitter Still Matter?

Welcome to episode 357 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

I had a really interesting question sent to me through the website not too long ago, and I decided in addition to emailing this person an answer, I would bring it here, because I think several of you probably have this question. So we’re going to talk about, does Twitter still matter? I have gotten a lot of pushback from people lately saying that Twitter is becoming sort of irrelevant and they’re not getting traffic or they’re not growing their followers, or they feel like it’s a waster of time because they’re just starting out there, and they don’t know how to grow in any way. And so I wanted to talk about why Twitter can still totally be relevant for you, and why it might not be.

Twitter does matter

So number one, yes, Twitter overall is still currently, as of today, relevant. Like every social network, I’m sure it will come a point where it is not relevant, although I think social channels have done a better job in the last several years of finding ways to evolve. Facebook and Instagram are killer examples of this. LinkedIn, to a greater extent, is a real shining example of knowing their niche and knowing how to improve to speak to their niche. But who has evolved in a way it needed to, to keep up, so to speak? But I will say that I think everything sort of has its season, so I suspect at some point Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and the things of now will go away. They will be not necessarily replaced, but something will evolve to pull our attention. But for now, yes, 100% relevant.

With that said, there is not really a network that everyone has to use. It may come down to Twitter just not being some place where your community spends time. And that’s okay. It may come down to Twitter being some place where your community spends a lot of time, and in which case, yes it’s super relevant. So it always, always, always, when these questions come up of whether a network is for you, whether it’s Twitter or LinkedIn or some network yet to be named, it comes down to: Is it relevant for your audience? Does it speak to how they consume content and where they spend their time? If it doesn’t, then no, it’s not super relevant for you.

Twitter automation

Now, switching gears back to Twitter, the people who I have talked to through consults and things like that or who have come to engage our services, generally speaking, they’re struggling with Twitter because they’re doing something fundamentally wrong. And that’s their over-automating. Now Twitter is a great and powerful place to add automation. With that said, you can’t just autopilot it and expect it to drive thousands and thousands of pieces of traffic for you each and every day. It’s just not the way it works. It’s all about balance. I know some people who are really successful without doing any sort of automation on Twitter because it’s their natural state and they enjoy that space, and they spend time there, and it works for them. I know people who automate 90% of what goes out on Twitter and they’re really successful because A) they’ve automated really smartly, and B) they’re still spending that 10% of time where they’re coming in and engaging. And that’s where I actually fall in.

I don’t spend a ton of time day in and day out on Twitter. However, I have put tools in place to do things like send out content and engage new followers. Now when I say engage new followers, I am not, and I have to put this right at the top, I am not talking about automated direct messaging. I am not talking about automated replies. Don’t do that. It’s not good. What I do is I do use tool where it connects me with people who check certain boxes. So I use a tool that’s called Juicer, and it follows people in certain industries or with certain words in their bio, or words they’re tweeting. And there’s different ways you can set this up, different modules you can use to set this up, but essentially it lets me connect with targeted people who are going to be a fit. I can follow them, I can add them to lists. I like to add people to private lists so that I can make sure I go in and engage with new followers.

But again, this is a way that I’m using automation to allow me to connect with targeted people, and then engage in conversations. So again, we’re adding them to lists, we’re following them based on a word that appears in their bio, or something they tweet, and we’re adding them to a private list for the same reason. So again, I can actually engage with those people I’m connecting with. So that’s a tool I use for that.

On the flip side of that, we’re using a tool like eClincher, where we’re scheduling content. So we are setting up that social media foundation, that old content, new content, other people’s content. All of that stuff gets scheduled inside of eClincher so that when I do go into Twitter, I’m not thinking of what I need to tweet. I’m thinking of replying or something that’s actually happening fresh, live, that day, where I can add silly GIFs and whatnot. So that’s the tools I use to automate that allow me to have that engagement part. So remember, you need that balance. You don’t want to be spending so much on autopilot that you are forgetting that there are people out there. There is a way to engage with them and connect with them.

I will say, I just want to button this up with, do not automate engagement. Do not set up tools that allow you to reply to tweets that have certain words or under certain hashtags, or auto-direct message people, or auto-reply to people when they follow you. Don’t do those sort of things. Use these automation tools to set your foundation, so that you can engage live. That’s where the value is. That’s where the connection comes from. If you don’t invest a little bit of time engaging with the people, why would they invest any time or money with you? All right, think about that next time you lean a little hard into the automation stuff. Okay?

The other thing I want to talk about is, a lot of people who I talk to about Twitter, they feel like their messages are just getting lost. And that’s why I really encourage you to add things like video and graphics. Just like Facebook, just like LinkedIn, adding these graphics, adding these videos, creating something that is on brand, relevant, and eye-catching can be really powerful ways to stand out from the noise. So you’ll notice a lot of my tweets have graphics. When we tweet videos, we have either the video from YouTube or a graphic. We set up Twitter cards so that when the URL from my website gets tweeted, guess what? It pulls a graphic. So we’re making it a little larger than just the standard issue tweet. That’s a big part of standing out amongst the noise.

So use these tools. Engage with them in a way that makes sense, that’s again on brand, and relevant to the content you’re sharing. But stand out. Be you. All right? I like to think that when you see one of my tweets, you probably know it’s me. Because probably, I don’t know, 7 times out of 10 it includes a graphic you’re used to seeing from me. Either from the website, branded from the backstage stuff or, you know, just a straight up picture of me. You’re welcome. All right?

The last thing I want to cover before we wrap this up … And I wanted to keep this episode short because I want to encourage you guys to take action … Remember, followers are not the be all end all. So one of the conversations I had with a client recently, they want to grow their Twitter volume quite a bit to 25 or 50,000. And that’s awesome, but only if those people are relevant. Only if those people are interested in what you’re talking about. Anybody, literally anybody, can make the wrong decision and go buy 100,000 followers. But they’re meaningless. A) It doesn’t take me very long in looking at the account to realize you bought your following. And two, there’s no value for driving traffic to your site or sales or conversations or re-tweets or shares or replies or any kind of engagement stuff. There’s none of that happening. So I really encourage you to think twice about putting too much value in that follower count. Where I want you to put the value is in the people who make up that follower count. Remember, they’re not just profile images. They are people. All right? Treat them that way.

So it really goes back to not just follower counts being valuable, but not the end all be all, but also for being true with that automation stuff. Make sure we’re doing these things the right way, in a way to provide more value, not less. All right? That’s all I’ve got for you today. If you are looking for more help with Twitter, the best place to go is the upgrade to this show, which is Hit the Mic Backstage. You can join us at hitthemicbackstage.com. We’ve got a Twitter ads training as well as cards training, a Twitter 101 training, not to mention all of the other networks. But if you’re listening to this, I’m guessing you’re curious about Twitter. The best part is, though, you can join us in the private community and I do profile reviews. So if you have questions about how to optimize your Twitter profile, you can drop a link to your Twitter profile in there and I’ll actually do a video review for you right inside the private community. I will see you backstage, hitthemicbackstage.com, and I’ll see you next week. Have a good one. Bye

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