- According to Mashable, Twitter isn’t growing.
- Twitter hasn’t grown much since June 2009, according to Compete.com. [Editor’s note: since the original date of this post, Twitter has grown and plateaued again.]
- 60% of Twitter users quit within 30 days, according to Mashable.
So is Twitter as a Sales Strategy Worthwhile? In most cases, No.
As a publishing company executive with an eCommerce website in the Top 1%, here are my 10 reasons —
- There is very little commercial benefit to Twitter for small and medium size companies. A study of online buyer clickthrough behavior shows that Twitter clickthroughs accounts for less than 0.1% of the retailer’s sales. It is better for businesses to focus on the marketing efforts that are 100 times more successful, such as email marketing, blogging, SEO, and SEM.
- Twitter is an unsustainable business model in the real world. It has never made a penny of profit. The fact that it’s been through five rounds of funding and is valued at $1 billion is a case of the emperor’s new clothes in my opinion. Who — other than the persuasive tongues of those who have invested too much financially or emotionally (and celebrities) — are singing its praises from a financial standpoint?
- Mashable says Twitter needs to find a way to encourage people to tweet new content and tweet more than 30 days. Perhaps Twitter is the problem, not with the users. Users are sending a message: “Twitter is a novelty but not vital.” They would never say this about Google Search or email.
- People who send quality tweets have to break into their routine to do it. Despite what proponents say, this is not a 30-second investment x 12 tweets a day. Twitter-mindedness requires you to be thinking all day: Is this worth tweeting about? How can I entertain or inspire someone (who is not in my closest circles of friends, family, colleagues). It distracts you from your real job—unless your real job is testing a broad range of marketing methods in hopes that you can find a way of making it work.
- The Dell Case Study proves that Twitter does not work for small and medium companies. Dell got $6 million (about 0.03% of its $16 billion annual revenue) from Twitter, which means that tweeting for marketing purposes isn’t worth hiring a $25,000 person unless you have a gross revenue of $100+ million. In other words, if you have the brand name strength of Dell, and your company had $10 million in annual sales and a team of tweeters, and closed sales at the same rate as Dell, you could expect $3,000 a year from Twitter.)
- Tweets are here and gone. If you step away from your desk and don’t check Twitter for 30 minutes you will probably miss hundreds of tweets that are time-consuming to sort through even if you do use HootSuite or TweetDeck or other apps.
- Tweeters depend on Twitter followers who cling on every word in order to be effective. This works fine if you are a celebrity, but odds are it won’t make you a celebrity.
- Ask yourself: “If I had a very important message for my family and coworkers, how would I send it?” The answer is probably: Phone, email, and chat/instant messaging, long before Twitter.
- Twitter is being swarmed by marketers and automated/scheduled tweets. It is becoming increasingly fake and inauthentic.
- Twitter does a few things well: Breaking news tweeted by individuals (the airplane landing on the Hudson River); see inside celebrities’ private lives (if you believe what they tweet); getting summaries from conference attendees, and raising link authority.
- I applaud Twitter. The founders did something truly amazing…but like all truly amazing things, if it doesn’t have a way of making it financially for itself or for businesses, it is on its way out the door.
A wise person once asked: What activity will your company discontinue this year? What have you tested and found to be a waste of time or money? Despite having 3000 followers, I have already put Twitter in that category. Even if I had 30,000 followers and they bought double the products, the income derived from Twitter would be negligible to my company.
My next marketing test? I’m going to do community building for a six-month trial. Stay tuned.
* According to WebsiteGrader.com
I welcome your comments.
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