Twitter’s second earnings: a bird’s-eye view

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It should have been the sweet “tweet tweet” of the Passerine that Twitter investors woke up to on Tuesday this week when the microblogging platform announced its second quarter earnings results. The company beat its own forecasts and doubled its revenues, seemingly dispatching itself to the summit of social media supremacy.

However, a sense of shallow victory passed by those with significant stakes in Twitter when they discovered that shares had dropped 11{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} – their lowest levels since last years’ $18bn stock market flotation.

Why has this happened?

Simply speaking, Twitter is not growing fast enough. In March, the company claimed 255 million users globally (almost half the number that WhatsApp retains), up only 5{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} from December 2013. Similarly, the previous quarter saw 4{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} growth in monthly users. This slow rate of growth, coupled with the fact that the number of active daily users remains flat, is cause for significant concern and will spark debate about whether the social network has peeked.

Of course, nobody should write off Twitter and start drafting its obituary just yet, but the news acts as a timely reminder for PRs and communicators across the planet who use the platform to bring their clients and their viewpoints to the forefront of conversations.

Putting all eggs in one social media basket to reach this goal is not going to work. When you log in to Twitter every morning to monitor for relevant trends and conversations for your clients to contribute to, you should also be monitoring which social networks are trending as well. Clearly, all social platforms have different personalities and are populated with diverse groups and individuals that may or may not fit your client’s target profile, but counting on one channel alone to get your message out is unlikely to achieve the levels of bandwidth and ubiquity that your client demands. Therefore, an ongoing and diligent digital mining plan of action to discover the whereabouts of relevant groups is fundamental to the success of your online campaign.

Since Friends Reunited cut the proverbial social media red tape in 2000 with the goal of putting old school friends back in touch with one another, a host of once successful online sharing platforms, both professional and personal, have vanished into thin air. As PRs and communication professionals, especially those in the technology and digital domains, we should never assume that what is all the rage today will be all the rage tomorrow.