Why I Love Twitter

How Twitter is Getting it Right

If you work in social media, you know by now that Twitter just underwent the great purge. Since the beginning of 2018, Twitter has been cutting the fat; removing bots and spam accounts from the platform. Fast-forward to Spring of 2018 when Twitter users and social media community managers all over the world began to see dramatic drops in followership. Today the dwindling of follower counts has subsided and things appear to have leveled out. Now that we can catch our breath, it’s time to take account of what we lost and what we gained during the great Twitter purge of 2018.

During the height of the purge, one thing was abundantly apparent: both people who consume social media and people who work in social media are obsessed with numbers. If you browse social media news, you’ll see headlines like, “Snapchat, no longer bleeding users, tests Android app redesign” or “Facebook doesn’t want to talk about how many people use its app anymore.” You’ll also see headlines like, “Twitter loses millions of users, but still makes record quarterly revenue.

Twitter’s experiment flipped our followership goal on its head. Instead of banking on the total number of users, they focused on daily active users. It was this approach, quality vs. quantity, that earned Twitter a sizable valuation bump during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Daily Active Users vs. Total Users

There’s another take away that I think can be applied to the best practices Rolodex of any social media manager. Twitter’s increased valuation proved that daily active users are always a better indication of the value and the quality of whatever service, product, or information you are offering. I’m talking about consistency and steady growth that aligns with your engaged target audience. Daily active users and even weekly active users are a great indicator of loyalty, or at least sustained interest. At the end of the day, your numbers don’t have to be huge, as long as people are taking action.

If your number of daily active users isn’t growing, that means it’s time to tweak something or test something new…

As social media professionals, we should always aim to develop content and share resources or products in a way that resonates with people.  If we’re not doing that, then we’re doing something wrong. So, if you find yourself constantly focusing on increasing your numbers of followers or clicks, here are a couple of alternative data points to focus on down the road. Who knows, if you start focusing on these new numbers, the original numbers you were looking for might follow!

Best Social Media Metrics to Track

Daily Active Users vs. Total Users

Engaged Followers (Or Percentage of Engaged Followers) vs. Followers

Hover Time vs. Impressions

Time On Page vs. Link Clicks

Views Past 30 Seconds or Views that Lead to Further Engagement vs. Views

Hopefully, by focusing on this data you can draw some important insights on what works versus what doesn’t work. Happy Analyzing!

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