Is Twitter Still Relevant in 2017?

Twitter is one of the oldest social networking sites still popular today. Having been around for over 10 years this microblogging platform has changed a lot over the last decade. At its core, however, is still breaking news and the 140 character limit.

Yet, after all this time, is Twitter still relevant? Should you invest time in maintaining an active Twitter account for your business or personal brand? Here’s my experience.

I’ve used Twitter to promote this blog and my Youtube channel. I’ve also used Facebook and Instagram. Besides just promoting my own content, I’ve used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to try to build relationships with other digital nomads, freelancers, and business owners.

Unfortunately, I’ve found that using Twitter gets me much lower engagement on my content. I’ll get 100-200 likes by posting something on Instagram, but get just a single like or retweet if any, by posting the same thing on Twitter.

I’ve also checked my Youtube analytics. Facebook always drives more traffic to my videos than Twitter. In the last 28 days for example, Facebook has brought 53 visitors to my videos versus just 3 visitors from Twitter.

youtube view analytics

In other words, engagement with my content pretty much sucks on Twitter. You could argue that the reason for this is because my Instagram account is older and more established than my Twitter account. Fair enough. That doesn’t explain the huge discrepancy, however, between my Twitter and Facebook.

Both of those accounts were created the same month. Plus, since creating those accounts, I’ve spent 18.5 hours building up my Twitter account vs just 8.5 hours growing my audience on Facebook (I log my daily time usage). It just doesn’t add up. Except, it does.

If you’ve ever watched Gary Vaynerchuk, you’d know that he always says, “Marketers ruin EVERYTHING.” It’s true. The typical trend for a medium (television, social media platform, whatever) is as follows.

First, regular people begin giving their attention to the medium. Then, a few trendy marketers get the idea to start advertising to these people. The marketers realize they’re getting a great ROI.

They scale up their marketing efforts, and tell their friends. Soon enough, the signal to noise ratio on the platform shifts significantly. Consumers start by trying to tune out the noise. You’ve seen this before. How quickly do you reach for your phone when there’s a commercial on TV?

It’s the same reason Twitter engagement sucks. Too many people just promote their own shit on Twitter without repping the great stuff everyone else is putting out. Even worse, a lot of people just automate their Twitters entirely. Because of this, it’s hard to get your content to stand out above all the noise.

Everybody’s talking but nobody’s listening. Twitter isn’t such a great broadcasting channel because of this anymore. You’d be surprised how few extra views or purchases having 1k or even 10k followers will get you. Yet, that doesn’t mean Twitter is irrelevant these days.

While I don’t find Twitter very useful for promoting my own stuff, I have found engaging with others very fruitful on Twitter. Twitter is how I met the awesome Jake Darby of Nomadic Hustle as well as an awesome graphic designer in Matt Lawrence (reach out to him if you want an awesome design at an awesome price).

I’ve already hung out with Matt in Saigon, and there’s a good chance I’ll be filming some vlogs with Jake later this year. I’ve also chatted with Peter Lievels (founder of nomadlist), Dan Norris, and Robert Koch (the blogger behind 30daystox).

If you want to get the most out of Twitter, you’ve got to understand you won’t be able to do so via endless self-promotion. In 2017 Twitter is a place to easily connect with other high level people, and build relationships that’ll enrich both your personal and business life.

If you view Twitter through this lens, it’s far from irrelevant. In fact, it just may be the best social network out there today.