Although Twitter seems to be a favorite spot for sharing memes, venting about politics, and live-chatting during television events, lately the social platform has hit a rough patch. Its second quarter report shows 0% net subscriber growth, and TWTR stock is trading at its lowest price since April. Advisors left and right are encouraging investors to dump their stock, predicting that it won’t bounce back. Should we listen to them? Is Twitter really on its way out?
A newly launched $99 advertising subscription – currently in beta – may contribute to the platform’s demise. For a monthly fee, Twitter will boost subscribers’ tweets and profiles on a regular basis. Soon our feeds will be filled with more promoted content than ever. And since paying for a general “boost” for your profile is the equivalent of “The Lazy User’s Guide to Twitter Advertising,” it likely won’t be content we want to engage with. Less engaging content means lost interest in the platform, and continued lack of–or even negative– net subscriber growth.
On the other hand, Twitter Ads still offer extremely detailed targeting options, and the platform in general is often a choice space for brands to conduct social outreach and engage with their fans. Even a local restaurant or neighborhood café can get in on the action, easily launching a campaign that targets “millennial foodies” with X net income in Y zip code. An awareness objective was recently added to the ad platform, and with careful targeting, the right users can be reached.
But the new $99 subscription is the opposite of careful targeting, and nothing (aside from Trump’s tweets) annoys users more than an influx of irrelevant ads. Annoyed users mean a drop in engagement, which will steer advertisers away. This beta feature meant to up ad revenue could do just the opposite.
How can your brand stick with Twitter, while not wasting any time or ad dollars? Firstly, continue an authentic social outreach strategy. Auto-replies or favorite to tweets are painfully obvious. Be real; users will appreciate it! Secondly, if you’re going to advertise with Twitter, avoid the $99 subscription. You’re better off spending a little extra time targeting your promoted tweets so that you don’t end up annoying more people than you do converting. And finally, don’t use Twitter just to use Twitter. Yes, it’s still relevant for many brands. But if your customers aren’t on the platform, it’s a waste of time for you to be there as well. Continuously evaluate your reasons for tweeting, whether organic or promoted. Twitter may not be dying right away, but if it’s already dead for you, bury it and move on!