Twitter’s Life Cycle & What it Means to Marketers

There have been few more exciting times to be a marketer than today. We are living in an age where the amount of mediums avaliable to us has never been larger, while metrics and analytics tell us what works and what doesnt, often in real time.

Twitter is, in a lot of ways, a marketers dream tool. Real time, real people, spewing forth details about what they like, dont like, and what matters to them. Its seen massive uptake since it’s inception in 2006- with some help from Barry, Ashton, and CNN. With over 44.5 million unique visitors per month and counting, the audience is growing, and companies and organizations know that they have to engage or be left behind. But you already know that.

Getting started with Twitter sounds easy. Every Social Media Consultant will tell you the same things- Engage, be authentic, be consistent, monitor everything etc. Low friction, high capacity tools like Twitter make it easy to get signed up and utilizing it within minutes. Companies are drinking the Kool-aid and signing up in droves, and putting Twitter in the Growth stage of a classic Product Life Cycle (PLC) model (ignoring traditional costs and revenue projections- this is the internet after all)

Marketer’s have used PLC’s to show a product’s lifespan in the marketplace. They follow a fairly simple model that incorporates the 4 different phases of a product launch. Below is a graph that adds Twitter to the model.

Twitter's Product Life Cycle

What happens in a Growth stage is easy to predict. Popular things become more popular and people adopt at an increasing rate. All the hype, glamour (and DDOS’s) that have been heaped on Twitter have enabled it to stay in the news and  grow exponentially, but it will eventually taper off the next few years. Its what happens next, the Marturity phase that is more interesting.

As the market matures and more meaningful data is collected, value creation and measurement will become the key social media trends, not just what tools your company is utilizing. This product life cycle is no different then the internet itself, the mad rush to stake your claim, and then the subsequent idle years of figuring what exactly to do with it.

The Maturity phase will be a time of companies & organizations figuring out how exactly to make the most out of it. The products I will be excited about in the upcoming years are tools that help us de-clutter, focus, and aggregate meaningful data. Gist is an example of a company that is attempting to do just that. If you can find a way to find value in the noise, you will have a winning product.