What kills the unique Twitter experience? Social Media tools.

Twitter was never valued as an excellent SEO tool (today, it is said to provide no long term SEO benefits at all). It does not provide useful back links. However, Twitter was one of the first social networks, it was helpful and small. It was living in the shadow of other social media till the Arab spring. At that moment, Twitter was discovered and enjoyed a high exposure in other media. It proved its ability to connect people, and allow them sharing the most exciting moments of their lives. It was never easy to use, difficult to understand, but it was the most beloved social media tool. Searching the site was a really awful experience. However, it was the network where all experts were present in person. Asking questions and providing answers was a part of the social media etiquette. On the other hand, the unique Twitter experience has changed dramatically from 2009.

It was the network that has built a vast network of external developers. It had offered a great API that was free, well documented and had almost no limitations. The independent developers made Twitter the unique experience. Their innovations were beyond the original ideas of the company. These times of independent clients were enjoyable because each one provided the different user experience. Also, Twitter was faster than Google in providing accurate news. Just a few words, one click, and the important news was out. A fire of a skyscraper in Dubai? It was there within seconds. No news agency required the viral news spreads just by retweeting.

Well, this is a history. Today, Twitter is a continuous stream of the advertisement. However, the company is awful in selling adverts, the users are great in tweeting ad messages for free. They usually do not provoke discussions; they just want you to click and gain some traffic. It is “call-to-action”. It destroys all social media platforms, but Twitter suffers most right now. You do not focus on building a well-shaped community sharing same interests; you gain a lot of tweeting robots. They share a lot of tweet with links and pictures, but they do not engage in enriching discussions.

Twitter - bad user experience
Twitter – bad user experience

Moreover, automated social media tools send the messages instead of us. We do not have to touch the keyboard. We do not have to think about the idea behind words. We just have to construct the plan to send tweets at the right time to hit most of our followers.

The number of members of the personal network became the most important metrics of the success in the social media universe. We need them because we need to keep the “call-to-action” metrics growing. We employ weird practices to make others click our links. We simplify the content, and we have to attach great photos to make our tweets attractive. A library transformed into Louvre.

There is a new industry – social media strategy and communication. We have new gurus promoting a wonderful life on a beach. They made it just by sending promotional messages to the audience. They just advise what, when and how to post on different social media. Also, they promote many planning, scheduling, and monitoring tools. All the tools like Buffer, HootSuite  destroyed the user experience. We have lost the two-way communication channel; everyone just sends messages no one hears.

Twitter is not about a dialogue anymore. It is just screaming of promoted messages. We have become blind. We do not read what others tweet. We expect that it is just another promotional link with an attractive headline. We do not click the link because we do not expect much to get. We expect to see another great website asking for the email address.

It is time for another social media revolution. Twitter will probably limit the possibility to use automated tools in the future. It is the only way how to return a dialogue as a critical success factor. It does not have to allow longer messages because you should go straight to the point in a lively discussion. Finally, it should limit the current focus on sharing links and pictures.

SEO or social media? The content is the winner.

Here is the challenge. You want to build a high performing website, but you still work full time, and you have no possibility to manage the content, SEO tuning and social media properly. You have to implement a well-balanced mix of priorities into your website development strategy. Otherwise, you will fail. This approach would not be definitely recommended by social media gurus like Jeff Bullas. However, you have to build the content development habits as your personal best practice.

The super correct answer is that you have to focus on both from the beginning. However, it was difficult to become the social media star while developing the content of the site. Moreover, social media are not the one-way communication channel. The success and recognition by followers require a dialogue. Again, the conversation is time-consuming. Also, you can discover you are not a social animal, and you love your loneliness with the monitor and a keyboard.

It is always good to make a clear distinguish between the website development and website maintenance. It can make your life easier when you know in what mode you are. Both SEO and social media need great content to be efficient. You should never optimize the site without any superior content. That has been my lesson learned so far.

SEO or Social Media?
SEO or Social Media?

A primary goal is an informative website that provides useful and unique content. Never forget that purpose during the content planning as you should always start with the planning phase. You have to spend enough time thinking about the site goals and objectives. These are not about the traffic. It is just a side effect.

You have to make a tough initial decision what will be your key strategic traffic generation channel. Social media and SEO are different, and it is difficult to balance them both. Google like deep, informative articles. Twitter likes great headlines and a short content. Social media are perfect for the infographics charts; Google tends to ignore them (except picture search).

Google, Bing, and Yahoo tend to be slow, but they are consistent. Google usually does not show your content for several days. Also, the value of the fresh content is pretty low, and it can be frustrating. However, after several weeks or months, the performance of the search engine channel becomes predictable and steady.

On the other hand, social media love the fresh and compelling content. This approach has made Huffington Post a success story. All stories and headlines are perfectly optimized for social media. They do not provide much information, but they are provocative and easy to read. However, their performance in search engines is not that great.

Your plan and strategy are critical success factors. You have to make sure you know what your goals and objectives  are. Nobody will give you better advice than your written content development strategy. It is the only way how you will be able to allocate time to design, improvement and promotion of articles.

It is not the advice to ignore social media. You just have to make sure that you are not spending more time promoting than developing great content. Twitter and Facebook are both great tools, but you always have to consider them as tools. Make your content stand on its own.