News

POV: Twitter Promotes Organic Reach

Background

On the 11th of July Twitter announced the roll out of an enhanced Tweet activity dashboard to provide measurable insights about how Organic Tweets perform. For the first time, advertisers will be able to see how many times users have viewed and engaged with organic Tweets, so that they can more effectively optimize their content strategy. The Tweet activity dashboard is now available to all advertisers, Twitter Card publishers, and verified users around the world.

Details/Implications

Twitter have also released new insights from the additional research now at their disposal. They announced that marketers can hit an audience equal in size to 30% of their followers in a given week with a consistent and free tweeting strategy. The key recommendations for achieving even greater organic reach is to pair consistent tweeting with engaging content, citing the examples of Wheat Thins and Trident who achieved organic reach equal to 95% and 5x greater than their follower base respectively per week. z International. On Twitter, users receive all content from every account they follow, but there is no guarantee they will see a given post before newer ones quickly overtake and push out the old. The opposite is true on Facebook, where users see posts based on an algorithm that chooses what they are most likely to be interested in. Advertisers need paid promotion strategies for a more robust Facebook presence. Facebook says its curated News Feed is more targeted and less cluttered than the stream on Twitter.  Given the recent headlines about the declining organic reach that brands are achieving on Facebook, comparisons between the two platforms are inevitable (see image above). Whatever the headlines say, brands will undoubtedly require guidance as to the benefits and challenges of delivering their content on each platform, whether organically or via promotion.

Summary/POV

These new insights and ‘promises’ from Twitter, whilst certainly appearing on the face of it like a quick win for marketers, should be interpreted with caution. In reality the reason behind marketer’s ability to be able to access their followers feeds so readily is due to Twitter’s lack of scale vis-à-vis their main competitors. With less content being produced and shared within the Twitter ecosystem, there is obviously greater opportunity to be seen by consumers. These announcements also elude to the fact that, as a platform, Twitter is prioritizing advertisers over their users by not providing a customised content experience based on each users respective social graph. Marketers should be aware that if they prioritize follower growth on Twitter only for them to eventually achieve the same scale as Facebook, they have no guarantees that they will not get their fingers burnt by the same algorithm and commercial model changes that have impacted many marketers already working with Facebook.