Is Twitter the answer to Facebook’s decline in organic reach?
The throttling of Facebook’s organic reach is well known by now – only about 1 in 20 of your posts will be seen by people who have liked your Facebook Page previously. For small business owners, this becomes a huge hurdle because of the volume of content you need to create to be seen even once by your fans.
Twitter doesn’t restrict organic reach (well, not officially). So if every one of your tweets goes out to all your followers, doesn’t it make more sense to build a Twitter community rather than in Facebook? The short answer is no.
Twitter suffers from another problem – recentcy. This means that because people dip in and out of Twitter, there is a good chance that they were not on Twitter when you posted. A tweet has a life span of about 10 minutes, because people will not scroll back through more than 10 minute’s worth of tweets.
But how bad can it be? It’s bad! A recent analysis by a tweeter with over 300 000 followers saw that his tweets were, on average, actually seen by less than 10 000 of those followers. That’s a reach of less than 4% (which is ironically about the same as Facebook’s throttled organic reach).
Some have achieved better results, and Twitter will quote examples of 20%+. However this is rare. What they suggest is that you need to be posting 21 times a week, or 3 times a day, to reach 30% of your audience.
This is achievable for large businesses, with social media content managers whose job it is to spew out content day in and day out. It is generally not achievable for small business owners who also have to run their businesses!
Just to be clear – we are talking about organic, or unpaid, reach. This doesn’t apply to advertising on Twitter. With advertising you will pop to the top of the feed, and will be seen (or you don’t pay).
It’s time to accept that all these big social media platforms are not charities, and in having to justify their huge valuations they simply have to monetize their user base. But this doesn’t change the fact that, from an advertising point of view, they have enormous value – especially to small businesses with a local audience. They enable you to reach a large number of people in a very targeted way – far more so than traditional channels like print and radio.
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