We first posted about “Twitter invisibility” in 2015, and since then, a lot of interesting new statistics have been released – and Twitter has become a LOT more secretive about others!
One thing is likely to remain consistent, however: Nobody is seeing your Tweets.
What does this mean for you and your marketing? Here’s a peek into why nobody is seeing your Tweets and, most importantly, what you can do about it!
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In the time it takes you to read this sentence, about 40,509 Tweets will have been published.
Kind of a lot, right?
While Twitter no longer publishes their Tweets-per-day stats (and there is plenty of speculation as to reasons why), at last count the social network posts about 500 million new updates every single day – an average of about 5,787 per second.
Basically, things move fast in the ol’ Twittersphere, and that means the half life of a Tweet is short – and it isn’t always easy for YOUR voice to be heard.
Fortunately, your followers aren’t also following every single person on Twitter. (Unless they are. What do we know?)
But while you may not be competing with 500 million other Tweets all the time, you’re still fighting an uphill battle when it comes to getting your updates seen.
Which brings us to the big question of the day: How many followers can you figure will actually see one of your tweets? Most of them? None of them? Are my Tweets being seen at all? How long does a Tweet last, anyway?
Let’s take a closer look at the statistics and see just how long people really spend on Twitter – and what you can do to get from the “No one sees my Tweets!” blues and make sure your Tweets get seen!
First, cut your number of followers in half.
Say you have 1000 followers on Twitter. That’s a super respectable number, right? 1000 people logging on every day, checking their feeds, seeing your latest links and promos and whatnot!
Except they aren’t. In fact, the majority of them aren’t. Only about 42% of Twitter users log on at least once per day. So of those 1000 followers you have, only about 420 or so even check the social network on a daily basis. (This is one reason why nobody sees your tweets.)
Basically, we’re not off to an amazing start. But those 460 people are only those people who check Twitter at least once per day – some people check it more frequently. Let’s factor them in, too!
Those who check Twitter more than once per day, we salute (all 34% of) you!
About 34% of Twitter users check the network multiple times per day – we know that much. Thing is, we don’t know exactly how many times, because that data just doesn’t really exist.
But if we’re still going off the earlier example with your hypothetical 1000 followers, then this statistic means just 340 of your followers check Twitter multiple times a day, while 120 check it only once. That’s some extreme skimming.
But doesn’t it seem like there’s a new cable news report every day about how we’re all glued to our mobile devices, checking our social media on a near-constant basis? Shouldn’t that go for Twitter, too? After all, 330 million monthly active users is nothing to sniff at!
Of the people who actually bother to check Twitter each day, just how long are they sticking around?
The average Jane spends nearly an hour a day on Facebook, every single day. In fact, the average person will spend over five years of their life on social media! (For comparison, you’ll spend about three-and-a-half years eating and drinking.)
Holy. Moly. Surely a huge portion of that time is spent on Twitter, right? Right?
Statistics show that people spend just 3 minutes each day on Twitter!
Let that sink in for a moment. Every single day, the average Twitter user spends around 3 and a half minutes on the platform!
We know you’re probably thinking “That’s basically zero time. People are spending zero time on Twitter!” (You may also be thinking something like, “Arggggghhh!!”)
The good news is that’s actually more time than the average tweeter spent just a few years ago when we first published this article. The bad news is that’s still not a lot of time.
So, for any given Tweet, you have a teensy window of time to hit an even tinier segment of your audience.
What’s a marketer to do? Too few of your followers are on Twitter at any given time, and even fewer will see your Tweets when you publish them!
So, then, what does all of this mean for your Twitter marketing? Is it even worth your time to tweet at all?
Actually, yeah. It totally is.
The biggest mistake you can make is to stop using Twitter.
Waaaaaaay too many businesses start off strong and optimistic on Twitter, and after going however long without finding the engagement they’d hoped for, they give up.
We totally get that! The odds are stacked against you to begin with, but the less you tweet, the worse they get.
That’s EXACTLY why we decided to shine a spotlight on these statistics! To show you that it’s not your fault if Twitter marketing seems like a pain. It’s an uphill battle for everyone, is all.
It IS your fault, however, if you convince yourself that it’s futile and you give up. Because here’s the thing: Twitter is a loud and busy place (obviously), and while that means the half-life of a Tweet is relatively short and you have to work harder to be heard, it also means that this network is LOADED with opportunity.
The solution? Tweet more. Tweet hardcore. Tweet like a MUTHA.
If you’re trying to get more followers and you’re only tweeting once or twice a day, you’re gonna stay stuck right where you are – heck, the followers you have might not even be seeing ANY of your Tweets! (That’s just playing the numbers, ya know?)
To increase your odds, you’ve gotta increase your volume.
First of all, don’t pay attention to all those millions of studies about the best times to tweet – they’re not about you. Pay attention to your own analytics to figure out what times you should be focusing on. (This is key to how to get your Tweets seen.)
Next? Tweet often, and at targeted times.
Should you be tweeting every minute? HECK no! You’ll drive people insane – yourself especially.
Essentially, you want to regularly tweet around the times when you get the most engagement, and you want to be as consistent as possible about it (because you just never know if it’s going to be an “on” day or an “off” day).
The trick is to prepare as much as you can ahead of time and automate your posts. You ever have one of those moments in a conversation when you feel like you need to say something REALLY clever, but you just draw a big ol’ blank? That’s what happens to a lot of people on social media – and then they just don’t post ANYTHING!
Take the pressure off yourself – by writing updates in advance and automating when they get published, life is way, WAY easier than it would be trying to do it all in real time.
There’s another reason you should write your Tweets in advance.
You know by now that the number of followers who are going to see any given Tweet isn’t huge. No matter how high your follower count, it’s all proportional – a matter of percentages.
The bad news is that it means you have to tweet frequently to increase the odds of being seen by your followers.
The good news, though, is that it means you can post the same Tweet more than once.
Imagine you’re at a party. You’re talking to a group of people, and you tell them a story. Eventually, through the natural course of things at a party, those people are going to wander off, and you’ll find yourself talking to a whole NEW group of people. You’re at the same party, it’s just that people come and they go.
So why not tell the new group of people the same story? Chances are excellent they’ll be just as interested as the first group!
Repeating your social media updates from time to time is how you respect your work and the time you spend on it.
Think about it: Why on Earth would you take the time to write and publish an update like a Tweet, only for it to be seen by just a few people?
(Our advice from a few years of feedback from our awesome Edgar customers, though, is to not repeat yourself too quickly. Give yourself some time before using the same update again, so if it is seen by someone who saw it before, they won’t likely care or even remember.)
This is why our founder, Laura, teaches what she teaches in Social Brilliant (which you can get access to for free right here). It’s why she built Edgar. Smart social media automation – recycling your own awesome evergreen content using software like Edgar – is just the way it works now, and if you embrace it, you’ll be lightyears ahead of the game.
Now, in 2018, Twitter made some changes to its terms of service and you can’t share the exact same tweet twice. Twitter wanted to crack down on spammy and abusive practices — which, of course, we fully support. However, this change made it much more difficult for small business owners and content creators to keep up creating content for Twitter. But don’t you worry — Team Edgar has your back and we know how you can share the same message without breaking Twitter’s terms of service.
We recommend creating different variations of your tweets to get the same message across and keep your account non-spammy and within Twitter’s Terms of Services.
A variation is just a different way of wording or phrasing a tweet and luckily there are plenty of options for variations.
For example, let’s say you’re sharing a recent podcast episode. Here are 6 different variations you could use
- Keep it simple and just share the title of your episode.
2. Ask a question that your audience can answer
3. Share your own story about the content.
4. Choose your favorite quote from the episode
5. Ask a question that the episode answers
Voila! You now have 5 variations that promote the same message but don’t break Twitter’s rules.
Edgar even has a super cool tool where he’ll create suggested variations from your content. All you need to do is add a link and Edgar will pull out key quotes and phrases to share as a status update! Give that a try for free here.
Let’s recap, shall we?
Basically, here’s what we figured out:
- The majority of your followers don’t check Twitter on a daily basis.
- The ones that DO average just 60 seconds on the platform each day!
- The half-life of a Tweet is incredibly short, and it doesn’t have much time to find its audience before it gets buried in the timeline.
So in order to make yourself heard without driving yourself crazy, you have to do a few things:
- Figure out when YOUR best times for posting are using Twitter Analytics. (It’s free!)
- Write your Tweets in advance.
- Create variations of your tweets so you’re expressing the same message in different ways.
But look: We know how frustrating it can be to feel like you aren’t getting any engagement, so we figure it’s pretty important to know why! If you don’t know the rules, you can’t win the game – hopefully now, though, it all makes just a teensy bit more sense.
Got any burning questions about anything we wrote about here? Analytics? Automation? Darts? Let us know in the comments below and we can talk it out!
And! If you’re feeling better about Twitter, but are still not feeling sure where to begin, have a peek at our easy-to-follow Twitter Marketing Guide for Small Businesses.