Twitter is growing currently at the phenomenal rate of almost 1000%. However, there is a disturbing twin figure to that 1000% growth rate: a dismal retention of only 30%. By contrast, Facebook retains around 70% of its users, a similar figure to some other social networking sites. This disconnect between rapid adoption rates and bad retention rates invites the question: Is Twitter Worthless as a direct marketing tool?
I see Twitter’s low retention rates impacting non-targeted tweet campaigns primarily. For those who build twitter profiles that zero in on particular demographics or use twitter to maintain an ongoing conversation with people looking for specific content, retention is not a problem. I run quite a few mainstream blog accounts on twitter (my main twitter account http://twitter.com/websitewriters is not one of my blog accounts) and let me tell you–less is more. Sounds very Zen, right? I focus on a lower number of users for my own blogs’ twitter pages but feed them the info they need. In terms of monetization success, I run Adsense on these blogs and we’re looking at many $3 clicks, sometimes higher. Per click. Targeting is key. Also, since the person is following you and listening to you, as long as you satisfy their content preferences and you do it strategically (sending out updates that have high relevance but also high PPC value), your effort is rewarded.
Variation in Twitter marketing results
Other marketers’ results will vary of course. Variation results from niche (is your target market looking for info or are they impulse buyers?), how you find and target people to follow/recruit, how active you are in sending @ and if the @ messages also have relevance to people looking at your tweet feed or the tweet feed of the people responding to your @ I can’t say it’s a consistent cash cow right now but it is a source of income that can be a nice component in your overall multi-traffic/multi-revenue stream overall strategy.
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