Adrian pearson is A VETERAN UK CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT AND the founder of ledgerscope - A SOFTWARE COMPANY MAking great tools for accountants in practice.

The ever decreasing circles of Twitter

OK, so you've decided that Twitter would be a great way to generate interest in something; maybe your new product, service or idea. You need to start with realistic expectations. Let me help.

There are no recent official numbers released but an estimate of 500 million Twitter users seems to make sense to me. So, you send a tweet out and half a billion people will see it? Er, no.

In reality, unless someone finds your message via a search or a hash-tag, only your followers will see your tweet in their timeline. This is a MUCH smaller number - even if you are Justin Bieber.

But that's OK, because your followers are the ones interested in what you have to say anyway, right? Again, maybe not. You will be amazed how many people follow your Twitter account without any interest in you - they are just hoping you follow them back.

So, your "proper" followers will see your message though, won't they? Maybe not. There are ever decreasing circles of Twitter audiences.

  1. Some of your followers will have decided Twitter is actually not for them, and will no longer be active users. So they won't see your message.
  2. Of the remainder, some may be temporarily not using the service at the time you send your tweet (perhaps because they are ill or on holiday). So they won't see your message.
  3. Active, current users may not be looking at their own timeline at the time of day when you send (if they are at work, or asleep maybe). So they won't see your message.
  4. Followers who are actually looking at Twitter when your message appears in their timeline may not read it, if it is not worded to grab their attention. So they won't see your message.

Of the final, small circle who actually see and read your message there will be a MUCH smaller number again who bother to click on a link you have provided or otherwise click through to where they can find out more about your offer.

And, finally, if your landing page is not effective when you get the one or two people in the smallest circle to actually visit, then, of course, they will not be enthused enough to take you up.

None of the above is intended to put you off using Twitter to promote something. Twitter can be really useful and great fun but you need to understand the rules of the game when you start playing.

Be careful being different

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