On June 26, 2015, my back finally told me enough. On that date I was forced to spend over 90 days lying on my living room floor rolling around in pain until the doctors could get me into surgery. To capture all I did during this long ordeal, other than dealing with sever pain, I wrote a blog on my adventures…90 Days on the Floor: What Can Be Learned
To keep my mine off all I was going through my business partners at SyncLab Media thought it would be good for the firm if I took the time to use my 15 years of internet residency and take a critical deep look into some of the many problems business come to us about concerning social media. My mission is to look what really is going on in online social networks and make comment on what nearly every business is being told by the flood of social media experts why they need to be using their suggested social space. So, over 90 days I spent well over 1000 hours looking at and reading articles on what really is going on in social media.
Following is what I found reviewing Twitter.
Twitter Appears to be a Wasteland
Twitter obviously is dying from the inside. Fortunately, it did reformat recently to produce a cleaner looking social media stream. However, Twitter still has it’s fundament issue of allowing untold millions of questionable users to populate it’s user base and the uncontrolled spamming produced by most of these fake users.
Nonetheless, the question business come to SyncLab Media with has to do with who are all these people posting the content on Twitter and what value does being on Twitter really bring to businesses.
The direct question the staff at SyncLab Media receive from business executives has to do with their concern on Twitter being viability as a place for them to spend money. What it boils down to is many businesses do not believe there are as many real live people using Twitter as Twitter promotes they have. The majority of the more savvy business leaders see Twitter as a huge wasteland mostly populated by social media related businesses all thumping their chests on their expertise in Twitter and Facebook…with a few LinkedIn pundits thrown in for grins.
Since there are no accredited third party validations of any of the social networks’ users databases, Twitter can say whatever they want as being the number of users they have in their database…and unfortunately many people wanting to believe it that information will be believed.
It is this uncertainty of the reality of the flood of unvalidated information on Twitter’s reach to consumers that have many of the more conservative thinking business leaders here in Dallas asking the tough questions.
Here is one of the more frequent complaints we hear.
“Our consumers have tremendous concerns with clicking on any business’ post on Twitter in fear they would be interacting with a computer or some sort of artificial intelligence scamming machine. They have a concern that they are not talking with the person in charge.”
In early 2014 TheAtlantic.com reporters, ADRIENNE LAFRANCE AND ROBINSON MEYER wrote A Eulogy for Twitter-The beloved social publishing platform enters its twilight. All of what they reported is still even truer today.
Consumers are very smart and have suspicion on the majority of the post to Twitter being from people, places and things that are more narcissistic than truly concerned with other’s content on Twitter.
It is also common knowledge amongst consumers who view Twitter that the most celebrities they see on Twitter hire a ‘spokesperson’ to manage their Twitter stream. The consumers’ animosity towards most post on Twitter results in a large majority of people avoiding any Tweets that having any semblance of a promotional tone.
“With so many of our customers reporting to us in our exit surveys they are leaving or have left Twitter who is it that keeps the Twitter stream rolling? Our assumption is Twitter is paying people to post to the stream so as to prop up it’s promoted popularity. Since our sales from Twitter are drying up we don’t see Twitter as where we need to be.”
Fact of the Matter
One of the most interesting finding of from the weeks of me starring at four of our client’s Twitter stream was the usernames being used in the comment or ReTweets. I observed in the Twitter stream on a number of occasions user names that were number’s and letters only one or two letters or numbers apart.
Though the Twitter stream has been cleaned up, many of the tactics used by ‘people, places and things’ to boost their influence are still being used. Paying for Likes, Followers and other forms of synthetic interaction are used my many to artificially influence consumers.
If a true (real) user does not stay on top of their Followers they will soon find someone else is using their account to appear to be more popular.
The significant amount of time spent on maintaining a business’s Twitter account is not something they want to do especially if it is just to clean out all of the automated Twitter users creating fake profiles.
From What I Saw
What I could confirm from all this time on Twitter is using Twitter is, at best, ‘iffy’ for businesses. As I searched through client’s Followers I was shocked to see how many of them have not Tweeted in over a year. On one client account over 85% of the 7350 Followers had evidently abandoned their Twitter Accounts.
Again, the question most businesses have…
“If all our consumers are leaving Twitter from the fear they are going to get hammered by some predator’s spam BOT, along with all the other nonsense Twitter allows to go on, why should we waste any time and money on using Twitter?”
The answer to this question can be best answered by advising this business person to use a social network more suited to their interest and needs.
We have found that Google+ offers businesses much more than what Twitter will ever be able to offer. Fortunately, it seems from the recent improved relationship between Google and Twitter that things could be improving with Twitter. Once can only hope that Google will go ahead and buy Twitter and bring parts of that platform’s format into Google+. A definite Win-Win for consumers and businesses.
Stay tuned for my report on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.