A few years ago, I was really into Twitter. I learned the best practices, tricked out my profile page, and tweeted multiple times every day.
And why not? Starting in 2007, the platform was on fire, influencing popular culture, serving up news, and taking down politicians.
But today, Twitter’s growth is stagnant. The company’s stock hit a record low in December, and tweeting occupies a much less prominent role in our national conversation.
Recently, I read a great book about social media’s ability to ruin people’s lives by publicly shaming them. The cases described by the author occurred from about 2010 to 2013. Reading those stories, I was struck by the almost supernatural power Twitter once had to influence a crowd, and how much that power has diminished in five years. I don’t tweet anymore—I find it unproductive. My son, who’s in the much-sought-after Millennial demographic, has also stopped using Twitter, along with all of his friends.
Last February, The Atlanticpublished a story, “The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting,” where a journalist looked at the percentage of impressions from his tweets that actually translated to traffic on the magazine’s website. The numbers were embarrassingly low, yet The Atlantic has no shortage of readers. They’re just not coming from Twitter.
So, should a remodeler stop using the platform? I’d say that depends. Twitter has a feature called “Your Tweet Activity,” which shows how many times a given post is seen, and more importantly, how often someone engages with it.
The tool is a way for remodelers to assess the effectiveness of their tweets. Companies should also factor in whether Twitter benefits them in other ways. Does it strengthen relationships? Create brand equity? After that’s been determined, remodelers can think about the resources that are going into generating tweets. If it’s taking just a couple of minutes a day of someone’s time, then even a small return makes it worth the investment.
Twitter is going to have to change in order to survive. I believe it can and will—there’s too much money at stake for it to fail. But until the platform reinvents itself, it will continue to lose users and relevance.