The problem with Twitter for content marketers

If you are a small business owner, and/or you are a content marketer, you will find using Twitter a frustrating experience. The problem with Twitter from a content marketer’s perspective can be illustrated by the screenshot below.

You will see two tweets that I sent. Both were sent 22 hours ago, as you can see from the screenshot.

One is a reply to another user’s tweet which has a sarcastic tinge to it. It is just a glib response to the other guy’s tweet to the effect that the counties surrounding Dublin were the ‘Home Counties’.

I have never heard them described as such before, hence my flippant reply. This reply, however, achieved 1,047 impressions and 45 engagements, an engagement rate of 4.3%.

The other tweet in this screenshot is not a reply, it is a straightforward tweet that has some value as it sets out, in an attractive format, the 7 principles of persuasion as contended for in the book written by Dr Robert Cialdini.

Yet this tweet only received 61 impressions and no engagement.

The reason, of course, is the reply tweet I sent was to an account with thousands of followers. This gave me the opportunity to get in front of those followers, even though my tweet did not add much value to anything.

The other tweet, the one with value, was only sent out to my own followers, a much smaller number by comparison. Hence the 61 impressions.

If you really want to build your following on Twitter you need to spend a great deal of time replying to accounts with large followings.

This fact can be cynically exploited as there is a greater incentive and payback from leaving replies, sarcastic and otherwise, on other accounts than sharing something useful, educational, or informative.

If you don’t believe me just download the data from Twitter in spreadsheet format and see which of your tweets and replies got the greatest number of impressions.

The data does not lie.

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