How the psychology of engaging on Twitter has changed

Five years ago brands were measuring social media successes in retweets and replies. In 2016, users are gravitating toward a different tool—here’s what brands should be paying attention to.

The psychology of user behavior has changed on Twitter, and with it, and updated way of considering how that impacts us as marketers.

Consider 2010, for a second. People were actually talking on Twitter and having two-sided, online conversations. Users were taking the time to reply to one another, and often, brands would jump in. That was all commonplace.

Fast forward to 2016. What do we see today on Twitter, today? People are not talking to each other anymore, or at least not nearly as frequently as they did in 2010.

Instead, the 2016 user is sharing links broadcasting. Additionally, there’s another subset of the population that uses Twitter as a listening tool in order to get news o5 follow their favorite celebrities.

Although retweets and replies were common back in 2010, “likes” (previously favorites), have now become one of the more common social signals on Twitter.

This change in the way people engage with one another has affected the way they engage with brands. What are brands doing though? Two things: Brands are broadcasting and providing customer service.

Go ahead—go see what the top brands on Twitter are doing at this very moment. You’ll most likely find one of those two things.

I’m fairly certain however, that “engagement” is and will continue to be a key goal for many brands in 2016 when it comes to Twitter. RELATED: Want to get your employees involved and active online? Download our free guide: 6 steps to crafting an internal social media plan.

User-wise, engaging today on Twitter takes a different form than it has before: The “like.”Yet many brands continue to ignore the “like” as a key metric on Twitter. Why?

Shouldn’t the “like” be a key part of how brands measure their own engagement? I know it’s a softer metric—no doubt about that, but it’s a click more and more people are making. Retweets and replies nowadays are much harder to come by than they were five years ago.

What do you think, PR Daily readers, should more brands pay attention to the “Like” as a key engagement metric on Twitter?

Arik C. Hanson is the principal of ACH Communications, a marketing and communications consultancy. A version of this article originally on his website.

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