This article was updated: 20.5.23
So, I wrote this article because I constantly get the same questions dropping into my inbox and thought I would address some of them in this post.
There are a lot of myths about Twitter flying around at the moment. Some of them are right, but there’s a lot more that is wrong.
The points listed below are just my point of view and you can take them for what they’re worth. It’s my experience on a platform I love and I suppose my way of setting the record straight.
Ok, enough with me, let’s talk about Twitter myths.
1. Twitter is a Waste of Time – (On Which Planet)?
As I’ve said time and time again, not only have I made some great friends, collaborated with like-minded marketers and collected leads for my clients and myself. I’ve also been able to build both a personal and business brand with a lot less effort than you may think.
In fact, Twitter can be an excellent tool for customer support, as I discuss in this comprehensive guide.
Twitter can be a valuable tool for some small and medium-sized businesses, but it may not be worth the investment for others.
Here are some reasons why Twitter is not a waste of time for SMEs:
Reasons why Twitter is not a waste of time for SMEs:
- Staying current: Twitter can incentivise staying current with industry news and trends.
- Building relationships: Twitter can be a valuable tool for building relationships with customers and other businesses.
- Cost-effective: Twitter is free to use, making it a cost-effective marketing tool for businesses with limited budgets.
- Brand awareness: Twitter can help businesses increase their brand awareness and reach new audiences.
- Customer service: Twitter can be a tool for businesses to respond to customer inquiries and complaints quickly.
2. Getting Lots of Likes and Retweets Improves Your Following Rate – (Erm, No).
Here are some key points:
- A study found that users who follow fewer people tend to receive more engagement (in terms of likes and retweets) on their content (12).
- Retweeting can spread articles at a low cost and can induce many comments, thus increasing the actual number of comments even if the comment rate remains the same (3).
- There is no evidence that following a brand on social media changes people’s purchasing behaviour (4).
- The value of a retweet is estimated to be around $8, while the value of a Twitter follower is around $6 (5).
Overall, it seems that getting lots of likes and retweets may not necessarily improve your following rate or lead to increased engagement with your content.
Instead, factors such as the number of people you follow and the quality of your content may play a more significant role in determining your social media success.
3. Tweeting a Few Times a Day is OK When You’re Running a Small Business – (Wait, What!)
There’s never been a time in history when it’s been so hard to get your voice heard through your marketing efforts.
In years gone by, it used to be “who shouted the loudest”. Unfortunately, now, those days have long gone.
To get your voice heard, you need to pump out a helluva lot of content and to think otherwise just isn’t being realistic.
The frequency of tweeting for a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) varies depending on the source.
Here are some recommendations:
- Post to Twitter at least 5 times a day, and up to 20 times a day if possible1.
- Tweet 5-20 times every day (2).
- Tweet a maximum of 5 tweets per day while maintaining a minimum of 5 tweets a week.
- Tweet at least 5 times a week with no maximum (2).
- Posting to Twitter three times daily is an ideal brand frequency (3).
It’s important to note that the frequency of tweeting may also depend on the goals of the SME. For example, if the goal is maximum engagement per tweet, aim for 1-5 tweets per day. However, if the goal is more total responses to tweets overall, 50 tweets or more may be necessary (2).
4. Using Hashtags is a Waste of Time
Yes, it is still worth using hashtags on Twitter. Hashtags are a way of grouping and categorising tweets, and they help people follow topics in which they’re interested.
Using hashtags helps your brand connect with what’s happening on Twitter, and it can lead to more engagement, impressions, and exposure. Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per tweet, but you’re free to use as many as you wish (1).
5. As Long as the Image Looks Good, This Will Be OK for Social Media (BS)
The image below looks OKish on a website, but looks shocking on social media.
I’m not an Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat expert, but what I can tell you is: images on Twitter need to look good on mobile!
I’m guessing this is the same for the other platforms; simply tweeting images that you like is just not enough… Whenever you’re going to use an image, give it the mobile test – will this look good on mobile?
This includes any text, speech bubbles and/or intricate images.
6. It Doesn’t Matter When You Tweet (Hmmm)
Yes, it matters when an SME tweets. The best time to tweet varies depending on the source, but here are some recommendations:
- The most popular time to tweet is between noon and 1 pm local time (1).
- Hubspot claims the best time frame is between 8-10 am and 6-9 pm to share your content on Twitter (2).
- The best time to post on Twitter is 7:00 AM PST on Mondays and 10:00 AM PST on Wednesdays (3).
- The best times to post on Twitter are Tuesdays through Fridays, beginning at 9 a.m. and taper off around noon (4).
- The highest volume of tweets occurs between 11 AM and 1 PM; Tweets sent at 9 PM in the U.S. earn the most retweets and favourites on average (5).
It’s important to note that the best time to tweet may also depend on the industry, target audience, business goals, and content itself (4).
Therefore, SMEs should analyse their own analytics to find the best time to tweet for their business.
7. It’s Not Important to Schedule Your Tweets (Worst Advice)
Scheduling tweets is important for SMEs because it offers several benefits, including:
- Consistency: Scheduling tweets helps SMEs stay consistent on the platform1.
- Quality: Scheduling tweets allows SMEs to craft and review their tweets before posting, ensuring quality (2).
- Timing: Scheduling tweets at the best times can maximise reach and engagement (3).
- Time-saving: Scheduling tweets can save time and help SMEs plan out a great social media content strategy (4).
- Efficiency: Scheduling tools can help SMEs schedule multiple tweets at once, auto-schedule tweets, schedule recurring tweets, and discover the best time to post (4).
Overall, scheduling tweets can be a valuable tool for growing an SME’s Twitter presence and saving time in the process (5).
8. 280 Characters Isn’t Enough
Before anybody starts shouting at the screen, I know Twitter now allows 280 characters, however, the old limit of 280 characters meant that you needed to be really creative with your tweets and, if I’m honest, allowed you to get your message across with very few words.
If you do a lot of content marketing, your blog posts and your videos should be the medium that’s doing your storytelling – not your tweet. The idea is to write a short tweet with a link to either your blog post, video, or podcast.
I can categorically tell you that 280 characters are definitely enough, even though we now have 280.
- In February 2023, Twitter increased the character limit for Twitter Blue subscribers in the US from 280 to 4,000 characters (1).
- In April 2023, Twitter further increased the character limit for Twitter Blue subscribers to 10,000 characters, with support for bold and italic text formatting (23).
- The increase in character limit for Twitter Blue subscribers is an attempt to attract more paying users to the platform (23).
- The character limit for non-subscribers and Twitter Blue users outside the US remains 280 characters (1).
- Replies that auto-populate at the start of a reply tweet will not count towards the character limit (4).
- If someone posts a tweet that’s more than 240 characters, there’ll be a “show more” button that you can select to view the rest of the tweet (5).
It’s worth noting that while some creators have expressed interest in the new long-form features, many everyday Twitter users appear reluctant to read beyond the platform’s text snippets (2).
Additionally, Twitter Blue is reportedly struggling to attract subscribers, with less than 0.2% of monthly active users paying $8 a month for the service (1).
9. There Are Too Many Tweets on Twitter To Be Useful
There is a myth that tweets won’t get noticed due to the sheer amount of tweets on Twitter. However, this is not true, as viral propagation on social media is largely a myth (1).
While it is true that there are a lot of tweets on Twitter, scheduling tweets at the best times can maximise reach and engagement (2). Additionally, consistency in tweeting and the quality of tweets can help SMEs stand out on the platform.
10. Embracing the Diversity of Twitter Usage
Every day on Twitter brings a new discovery, reinforcing the notion that there’s no definitive right or wrong way to use this platform. It’s all about finding a method that aligns with your needs and objectives!
For instance, my personal approach involves focusing less on my home feed, which consists of tweets from those I follow, and more on my ‘notifications’ tab.
I also frequently utilise the search bar with specific hashtags to streamline my Twitter experience.
This strategy might seem unconventional to some, not because it’s incorrect, but because Twitter usage is subjective and varies from person to person.
The beauty of Twitter lies in its flexibility, allowing each user to carve out their unique path.
Now, I’m eager to hear your perspective on this article.
Do you think I’ve overlooked any Twitter myths? Or perhaps you disagree with some of my points?
I welcome your thoughts and feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment below. Y
our insights are invaluable!