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W hat to Do With Twitter Losing Steam

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Nick Cotton Jun 29, 2015


Twitter is fading because of end users like me. We’ve followed too many people. Twitter lists help a little but even I default to my main Twitter feed because… meh. I could clean up my feed so I only follow people who I actually care about. But I don’t. I’d rather use that time to scroll around on Pinterest. Which is exactly what millions of people like me are starting to do.

Twitter is fading, as interest in the platform dwindles — and as a business with a Twitter account, this is a problem. You’ve invested a ton of time building an audience. If they stop paying attention to those ingenious posts you cobble together six times a day, you’re wasting valuable time. So what do you do?

Start With an Audit
Who cares if Twitter as a platform is diminishing? Do you own stock in Twitter? Ignore the general trends and keep your attention on what matters: your business. The effectiveness of your account and the changing of habits of your audience is what you need to audit. Are you seeing a slowdown in engagement? If not, than your company should keep doing what it’s doing – creating great content that is of interest to your followers.

Take More Risks
If you are seeing diminishing returns, then it’s time to get out of your comfort zone. If there’s any chance of salvaging the value of your account, it will rest with your ingenuity. Ask yourself this: How can you reach out in ways others can’t? What can your company offer to draw your audience back in? Get specific and targeted. But most importantly, you have to try something new.

Make Twitter Your Megaphone
If the extra energy of innovating isn’t worth it, Twitter still works great as a megaphone for your content from other platforms. As long as you have followers willing to drink from the fire hose of the Twitter feed, there’s no reason you can’t eek out some value. The key to this tactic is to minimize your time spent getting the message out. Gone are the days when you run specialized campaigns designed around your Twitter followers. Even if it’s hobbled, Twitter will function just fine as slave account to your better performing platforms.

I shudder to even suggest it, but I wouldn’t being doing my job if we didn’t at least mention the option. There are ways to set your account so that it auto tweets on selected topics. I’ve never done this to a Twitter account (because I’m not a monster), so you’ll find no advice here on the best practices on how to do this. But in the dark corners of the internet, where few respectable marketers are willing to explore, there are apps that make your once vivacious Twitter account into a social media zombie. Any savvy followers you still have will bail on you the moment they notice though, so don’t flirt with these dark arts unless your patience with Twitter is all but exhausted. And leave my name out of it.

Jump Ship
For most of you, it’s too early. Stay. Share. Tweet. The situation isn’t dire. But for those who have only put in a half-hearted effort, or have yet to get started, it is perfectly rational to bail on the little blue bird. For now, at least.

Maybe the talented minds teetering at the top of the Twitter corporate ladder will find a way to keep their massive network from fracturing. Maybe enough noisy Twitter abusers will leave and our timelines will magically return to a feed we want to pay attention to. Those are big “maybes,” but if they do happen, you can always come back. There’s no shame in giving up. Eventually, enough people will leave and Twitter won’t be so noisy. And then it will be a useful platform again. And all the marketers will come rushing back. So go ahead, give up on Twitter. It will make things better for those of us who stay.

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