Death of Twitter

February 25, 2016

How Pushing Business Objectives too Strongly can Alienate your Audience.

The anger of some Twitter users with its latest alterations spell out an important lesson for all businesses using social media - go in too heavy with your business objectives and you will alienate your audience.

Twitter has recently been reporting of its own death, with the hashtag #RIPTwitter making the rounds. Like big bands promise of their ‘last comeback tour’ reports of Twitter’s fading star have been floated about for years, so far, to no real avail. However, what started as the rumblings of the Twitter purists, sad to see Twitter’s more flashy updates, may now be beginning to show signs of truth.

Twitter’s ascendance has sputtered to a halt. For the first time in its history its active monthly users have not grown in the last quarter. Analysis of the causes have been flooding in from all angles, but it is the users themselves who are speaking with the loudest voice. Unified in their theory, they are saying that Twitter’s latest updates show that it has lost its soul. In the bid to increase profits Twitter’s management have ramped up the role of twitter ads, they have shoved marketing even further into user’s newsfeeds and messed around with the format. And in all their efforts to win big, they have in fact alienated part of their core market.

There are lessons here for all businesses engaged with social media.

If you want to see results it is important not to forget social media’s primary purpose - to be of interest to its audience. Less is sometimes more. With all the noise and emphasis on being seen it can sometimes leave businesses scrabbling around for content, or posting too often in a bid to catch attention. Rather, it is better to work on the premise of adding value and being of interest, sticking with what works, whilst avoiding the boredom of repetition. Otherwise, much like Twitter itself, the drive to sell can consume the interest to buy.