Op-Ed: Amidst Declining User Growth – Has Twitter’s Heyday Already Come and Gone?

The following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance). Whether you have a personal account or are utilizing the platform for your company or …   Read More

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Op-Ed Amidst Declining User Growth – Has Twitter’s Heyday Already Come and GoneThe following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance).

Whether you have a personal account or are utilizing the platform for your company or a client, most social media users have undoubtedly experienced the popular micro-blogging site, Twitter. Although, in the past few years, the social media site has struggled with new user growth and has (more recently) been seeing a decrease in overall user activity. So the question is: is Twitter currently on the path of becoming the next MySpace, or will it be able to turn itself around in hopes of reigniting user growth and activity?

From my perspective, I would certainly label myself as a social media junkie. From Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to WhatsApp and even Google+, I am incessantly checking my sites multiple times a day, posting photos, commenting, liking, hearting, etc. However, Twitter is the one social media platform that I have yet to adopt.

The majority of my Twitter experience comes from creating and managing accounts for my clients, which are mostly hotels, casinos, real estate companies, restaurants and, of course, my personal MLA account. From the viewpoint of any business, I recognize that it is imperative to have a presence on each of the major social networking sites (Twitter included) in order to provide your followers with valuable information, offers, contests, etc.

Yet, from a personal viewpoint, I simply do not understand it! Maybe it’s my lack of appreciation for all of those self-promoters trying build up thousands, if not millions, of followers solely to gain their five seconds of fame. But honestly, do we really care about what someone bought at the grocery store (#figs4life #baconmarshmallow #eww)? Or, how great their workout was – accompanied by yet another narcissistic selfie (#putthosegunsaway #takeashower . . . #OMG)? Twitter allows people to have a voice, which is absolutely great and important in today’s society when used appropriately. However, when people continuously tweet irrelevant and exasperating content merely for self-adulation, user decline is inevitable — which I know Twitter cannot and should not control.

And evidently, I am not the only person who shares this perspective of the micro-blogging site. According to an article posted by Fortune.com on August 3, Twitter’s stock plummeted yet again. The company’s stock was recently down more than 6% and had dropped lower than $30 for the first time in over a year. This is lowest point Twitter has hit since the company went public in November 2013. Though fortunately, at least the company realizes its shortcomings. Twitter’s interim CEO, Jack Dorsey, said “Twitter has not done enough to make the platform easier to use and added that attempts to spur user growth have stalled.” The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Noto added to that notion stating, “Twitter is in “turnaround” and that efforts to ignite user growth could take considerable time.”

In another article published by the New York Times, Twitter’s top executives recognized that the vast majority of potential customers did not understand how or why to use the service, and even less than half of its regular users check the site daily — which is ultimately stunting its user growth. However, Twitter acknowledges a change is needed, which is why the company also announced it would be launching new tools to help advertisers reach more followers by targeting age and geographic location.

While Twitter understands its platform has become rather limited, it will likely take more than offering improved advertising tools to help boost its users (which can potentially cause the reverse effect instead). Unfortunately, it might boil down to the simple fact that people may have merely outgrown or are just not getting what they want out of the platform. Or perhaps, it may just be too time-consuming for users to be active on so many different social networking sites and Facebook and/or Instagram are just more convenient and user-friendly. Speaking of user-friendly, please improve your direct messaging — not everyone remembers to follow you back or vice versa!

All that said, Twitter still has made great headway in order to improve the platform, including experimenting with launching a news tab feature to better compete with Facebook. And, while I may not be the biggest advocate, I will continue using the platform for my clients… along with the other 232 million Twitter users out there. #GoodLuckTwitter #KeepUsPosted

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