In January 2018, the New York Times dropped a huge story: The Follower Factory.
They wrote about the huge business in which people, including celebrities, are buying fake followers to increase their social media profile presence.
According to that story, up to 15% of all active users on Twitter are automated profiles. This means that while you may be sharing a ton of content on Twitter, it’s possible that you won’t always get engagement from real people.
In fact, the article states that some people have made a name for themselves as “influencers” by building a following after buying some followers online.
Not a wise investment
Since Twitter is very friendly with developers, and automation runs amok, it only makes sense that running a campaign on the social platform may not be the best investment that a small business can make.
The concern online is that advertising on Twitter can be a waste of money since it’s likely that automated bots may be engaging with your promoted content and as a result, may end up costing you precious dollars that could better be spent elsewhere.
Now, sure, there are many companies doing a great job online and may be doing so organically.
Wendy’s, for example, keeps on schooling McDonald’s every chance it gets (see tweets below).
.@McDonalds So you’ll still use frozen beef in MOST of your burgers in ALL of your restaurants? Asking for a friend.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 30, 2017
However, to get the engagement of Wendy’s, a company either needs to be a large nationwide chain, or it needs to be willing to fight for attention, which means drawing criticism or high levels of joy.
Similar automation is occurring on other platforms such as Instagram, however, the enforcement of their terms tend to be a lot stricter.
Before you go ahead and start spending money on Twitter management, consider what you’re potential results may be.
Twitter’s growth has slowed
Twitter is barely growing. It’s just over 300 million in monthly active users.
This is as companies such as Instagram have surpassed Twitter’s base (Instagram has 800 million monthly active users). If you’d like to develop your presence online, we recommend focusing on the big players:
Obviously, whether you focus on all three or not depends on the industry you’re in and whether or not you’ll be able to get a return on investment on that platform. For example, if you’re in B2B, then you might be better off on LinkedIn than on Instagram.
Should small businesses use Twitter in 2018? We don’t think so.
Not entirely convinced to avoid Twitter altogether?
Only time will tell if Twitter will regain relevance in social media.
Until then, play it safe but experiment. Social platforms are always introducing new features that you need to be on top of. Follow our blog for more such content.