How Changes to Twitter Impact To and Through Channel Marketing

Twitter is one of those love-it-or-hate-it social platforms. It can be time consuming and confusing but historically it’s been a significant driver of traffic to websites, which impacts SEO and Search Engine rankings. We love that part - but lately, Twitter’s been noticeably sluggish, engagement is more difficult to come by, and followers don’t stream in like they used to.

Social Media algorithms change. Sometimes we barely notice; other times they drastically impact Vendor To and Through-Channel marketing and your Partners' ability to drive demand online. That’s the case with Twitter algorithm changes.

Here’s what we know:

Twitter To and Through The Channel: the past is gone

In the past, a user would logon to Twitter and see every tweet from every account they follow in the order they were posted. Not so anymore. Now, Twitter’s algorithm chooses which tweets they see and in what order.

What today’s Twitter users see

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 7.44.45 AMUsers first see Tweets from connections they engage with most often and then popular tweets from other connections they follow; and by popular we mean number of likes, retweets, mentions, and replies. In ripple effect style, Twitter also ensures the most popular posts across those you follow are seen more widely which makes it easier for a post to go viral.

What the new Twitter algorithm does

After login to Twitter, all of the tweets you missed between sessions are assessed and assigned a rank based on engagement metrics. How long it’s been since you last logged in, how many people you follow, and your own Twitter habits over time also factor in. Twitter will never give up all the details of the algorithm but we found a few worth sharing.

What causes a Tweet to gain reach:

  1. The more you interact, the more your posts are seen so, the overall engagement of a tweet, retweets, likes, clicks and the time people spend reading it matters a great deal.
  1. If a single random tweet receives 100 likes but your other tweets have poor engagement, Twitter will see that one as an anomaly and negate it. Therefore, one popular tweet, every once in a while won’t help gain reach overall.
  1. Twitter looks at how recently Tweets were posted in addition to engagement metrics.
  1. Posting relevant content based on audience is important because the amount of time a follower spends reading a tweet you posted impacts the algorithm even if viewers aren’t expressing opinions via likes, retweets etc.
  1. How often you engage with the account factors in too – are you a daily user, weekly, or almost never?
  1. Paying attention to which type of posts gain the most traction can inform a solid Twitter posting strategy because the type of attachment included with a Tweet (link, image, video, none) and how the viewer typically engages with that type of attachment are also part of the algorithmic mix.

In essence, engagement is critical to gaining traction on Twitter but it’s not all that matters. User behavior and consistency play a dramatic role too.

What this means for Vendors and Partners:

Twitter To-and-Through The Channel has challenges including:

  • Vendors need to engage with Partners to ensure posts will be seen

It’s not enough just to post and hope to be seen anymore because what your audience sees is dependent on engagement and consistency factors. Now, it’s important for Vendors to connect with and engage with their Partners on Twitter.

  • Partner-facing education is needed to teach proper engagement strategy for demand generation

Twitter is still a valuable tool for priming the inbound demand generation engine for any company. Partners need to know how these changes impact them so they make the best use of time on social.

  • An emphasis on consistency across Partner and Vendor behavior is important

Even if you’re only engaging for 10 minutes a day, make it a consistent. Interact with the same type of content, find relevant articles to post, use appropriate hashtags to extend reach, and a scheduler to ensure posts are published timely.

Social syndication may still work as a way to save time posting consistently but overall, set-it-and-forget-it wont gain reach the way it used to and it can’t be the only strategy.

Need more information on how engagement on Twitter To and Through The Channel has changed or how to help Partners use Twitter to drive more demand? We’re here to help!

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