More than 60% of Twitter users in the U.S. fail to return the following month, as recently reported by Nielson Wire. Quite a negative statistic with all the hype and publicity Twitter has been receiving as of late. So why are new users dropping out? How can this be avoided?
A Background on Bailing
The general public has become accustomed to a loosely universal expectation of what is considered social media. This includes the ability to create a personal page complete with pictures, ‘wall’ comments, personal information such as interests, etc. MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn among others, have been so widely adopted because they are all socially acceptable platforms to vainly promote and brag about yourself. Oh, and also to communicate and network.
Although Twitter offers the ability to link out to pictures, and the flexibility to communicate interests and talk about yourself, its simplicity and focus on content is forcing users to actually produce quality updates and walk the walk by not just stating an interest in a given topic, but illustrating passion through a continuous dialog.
And this is the roadblock. For many, expectations come crashing down when the realization sets in that Twitter can be hard. It’s no longer this one time deal of creating a profile page, slapping up some pictures, adding some friends and calling it a day. Twitter has managed to create a platform that truly forces its users to engage with quality thoughts, content and to actually serve a purpose and add value. It is what you make of it, and without dedicated participation, Twitter kind of sucks.
A Resolution for Retention
Now that we know that Twitter requires some thought and participation, how can you avoid becoming a statistic?
Step 1: Formulate a Game Plan
- Why are you even on Twitter? Please have more of an idea beyond that you know that you should be and because everyone else is.
- What are you going to make yourself or your brand known for? In other words, have a STRATEGY. Some people use comedy, others use stats, and more people post news related to their topics of interest or brand.
- Nobody cares that you had eggs for breakfast.
Step 2: Don’t Seek Followers. Yet.
- Wait until you have a page full of quality updates. A big fail is to seek followers without providing them a reason to.
- Find a tool that works for you. TweetDeck is an essential that helps to keep organized, follow topics and monitor updates.
- Don’t follow just anyone; create your own topically relevant community.
Step 3: Maintain
- The most critical aspect. Once the participation stops, the visibility and engagement from your followers stop. So keep it coming.
Twitter isn’t to blame for the new user poor rate of return. More likely, pre-conceived notions coupled with a lack of strategy and dedication to quality content leads to a basic misunderstanding of what the hype is all about.
Rachel Andersen works for the Portland based SEM agency Anvil Media, Inc. She has expertise in all aspects of search engine marketing and specializes in SEO for large sites. Andersen has been responsible for the development and execution of dozens of search and social marketing campaigns over her time spent with Anvil.