TwitterLogo-light2-f-660x330“We don’t advertise on [Twitter] so much anymore,” says Sony Pictures Entertainment senior vice-president of digital marketing Aaron Wahle. “Snapchat has our core audience on hand every single day. It’s a really great way to get in front of the eyeballs we need to get in front of. Just right time, right place.”

Sony Pictures isn’t the only brand allowing their Twitter presence to softly fade to the background in favor of more dynamic and engaging visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Countless other brands are feeling the downward trend of engagement on a platform that’s struggling to find its identity in a new era of mobile and social behaviors. The challenge of Twitter isn’t totally new, of course. A 2011 article – yes, that’s right, five years ago! – lead with this semi-ironic headline: “Good News, Everyone! Your Twitter Engagement Level Might Be As High As 0.46%.”

“But Isn’t Twitter One of the Biggest Social Networks?”
Even people who know very little about social media marketing know about Twitter. They think of Twitter as one of the “top three” social platforms, but today’s reality is that Twitter’s daily active users (DAUs) have been overtaken by both Instagram and Snapchat (Facebook leads them all). Here’s where the platforms currently stand:

  • Instagram: 300 million DAUs
  • Snapchat: 150 million DAUs
  • Twitter: 140 million DAUs

(sources: Bloomberg and Tech Crunch)

DAUs represent that magic number that can show activity, loyalty and engagement. When you consider the rapid pace at which Instagram and Snapchat reached their current numbers, Twitter starts to look incredibly stagnant.

How Can We “Make Twitter Great Again?”
First off, I encourage my clients not to put the cart before the horse, which – in this case – would be prioritizing a particular social platform over the reality of where your audience spends its time. Just because Twitter is a “big” platform doesn’t mean your brand necessarily needs to be there. Find out where your people are. That’s where you need to be. For some demographics, Twitter no longer makes sense. You may experience some traction on the platform, but you could get be getting twice or 10x the return on your social marketing investment with a different social platform or ad tool.

Secondly, if Twitter is right for you, then you need to differentiate in how you use it. Differentiation is always good for marketing, of course. But for Twitter, where a staggering volume of content is vying for users’ attention, differentiation is paramount.

Thirdly, the best Twitter users are authentic and driven by relationship. If you’re new to the scene, find out who the influencers are in your audience demographic. Who do people like? Who do they trust? Why? Takes notes, and try to emulate those users’ best practices. And, if you have the budget, consider partnering with those influencers.

Does Your Brand Use Twitter? If So, How?
I would love to hear your answers in the comments below.