Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Changes in Social Media

smiley faces & thumbs up
I'm rambling a bit here, thinking out loud, pondering the recent changes in Twitter and Pinterest.

Social Media Strategies
Following the success of Google and Facebook money-making advertisement strategies, social media companies invest heavily in offering and honing their free services to hook people. They then use their popularity to bombard users with ads which turn the huge investments into huge profits. That's OK, it's a sound business plan that has been proven over the past twenty years.

Twitter and Pinterest are two services that have more recently changed the way they present themselves to users and have begun to add in 'promoted' posts for people who pay. Again, that's OK, their money has to come from somewhere and, as long as it's not from users, there shouldn't be a problem.

I use Twitter a lot. I have a personal account with around 500 followers and I follow almost 600 accounts that interest me - a mix of interesting personalities, people with similar hobbies and local tweeters. This is what worries me... following Twitter's recent changes, the number of interactions has plummeted. With the exception of 1 tweet last week and 1 on April 8th, none of my personal tweets/retweets during the past month were acknowledged (ie, liked, reweeted or replied). Maybe they were boring? Or maybe it's the way that Twitter is reshuffling tweets now (which is what Facebook does).

One of the things I liked about Twitter was its simplicity - a list of tweets from people I follow, in the order they were tweeted. Not so now. Using my business persona (different set of priorities, I follow clients, industry-related accounts, local business & community) I shall now open Twitter in another tab...
  • 1 tweet from someone I follow
  • 1 promoted tweet
  • 8 tweets from hours ago "while I was away"
  • 1 promoted tweet
  • 1 tweet from 2 hours ago
  • 1 list of "who to follow"
  • 6 tweets from hours ago
  • 1 promoted tweet (dated December 2015)
  • followed by several tweets from hours ago
But WHAT'S HAPPENING *NOW*? Well, I have to refresh the page to get current tweets - and there they are, good.

Not being a total idiot, I realise that you can change settings, so I have. Details here: Twitter Settings. While I await the outcome of this, I'll pose another question...

What's the obsession with the number of followers on Social Media? 
This has always puzzled me. I can understand that, from a business persective, you want to reach a large and expanding audience but if you are a person using social media to be, well, sociable, does it matter how many people click to follow you? Is it an ego thing?

What matters is whether those followers are actually seeing your tweets. If your followers are following 1,000 people and receiving 2,000 to 10,000 tweets per day, the chances are very slim that they are waiting to hear from you. Some astute tweeters may be using lists to separate their favourites - are you in any lists? (You won't know about the private lists.)

Which brings us back to the point that people are not interacting like they used to. Not publicly, anyway. And as things change, so we must adapt. Off to tweet this now - feel free to comment!

No comments:

Post a Comment