Why Neil Patel Is Totally Wrong About Twitter

I would never have thought that one day I would say that Neil Patel is wrong about anything. I am a fan. I think he is one of the best marketers out there. His blog is one of the few marketing blogs I read regularly and even subscribed to. I listen to his webinars. If I am searching for certain information, Neil’s blogs are one of the first places I go to see if he has covered the topic.

So why am I now saying he is wrong about Twitter?

Here is the story:

A few days ago Neil sent me a newsletter announcing one of the episodes of his podcast „Marketing School.“ The teaser in the email asked: „I’ve built up over 227,000 Twitter followers over the last few years. But do those followers convert into visitors or even customers?“

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As Twitter fans who drive over 45% of our traffic from Twitter, we were intrigued. Or rather, I was, Jonathan was convinced that Neil can convert from any network…

But then,… what Neil said in the Podcast came as a surprise to me.

In essence, Neil said, that he cannot convert his followers into traffic. Compared to Facebook where he converts around 38% of his fans into traffic Twitter at 2% was not worth the bother.

Wow… So what’s the story here? Is it really true that we can do something that Neil can’t? And what is he doing wrong?

There are two things very, very wrong about his conclusion!!

To identify why Neil is not driving traffic while we do drive traffic, I had a look at Neil’s Twitter account in more detail and I examined what I knew about Neil’s Facebook activity to put the return from his Twitter account into perspective. Here is what I found:

1. Neil Patel spends thousands of dollars on advertising on Facebook

Just a few weeks ago Neil published an article on his blog „I Waste $12,512 a Day on Facebook Fans, and I’m Not Going to Stop. Here’s Why

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Image Source: Neil Patel

Yes, you read that right: Neil Patel spends over 12k$ per day on advertising on Facebook. Sorry, but if that kind of money cannot buy you some traffic from any social network, you should seriously think about changing your profession.

But HOW CAN YOU even compare the traffic from a network where you spend thousands on advertising with a network where you don’t? Even if he stopped the advertisements for this comparison – his Facebook Fanpage performance is still going to profit from the huge amount he spent on it just a few weeks ago.

This comparison seriously sucks.

2. Neil’s activity on Twitter sucks

Sorry, this was blunt but deserved. If you want to drive serious amounts of traffic from Twitter, you should invest a little thought on what you are doing there. Each social network has its own rules and best practices. Twitter best practices for traffic generation are not the same as Facebook best practices.

If it is traffic you are after, you need to follow the best practices for traffic. One glance at Neil Patel’s Twitter feed gives proof of what is going wrong there:

His tweets lack images.

When we started out on Twitter images were not as important – but times have changed. Today, I would not send any tweet without an image – it is not worth your time. Take a look at your Twitter feed: Tweets without an image are highly unlikely to catch your attention, thy simply get lost in the chatter.

He is not tweeting enough

I see three tweets per day on average on Neil’s Twitter account. That is not enough. When you are starting out, we recommend 10 tweets per day as a minimum. Personally, I send a tweet every 20 minutes. Jeff Bullas who is the king of driving Traffic from Twitter tweets every 15 minutes.

Twitter does not work like Facebook. It is not one tweet that will give you and endless amount of clicks. One tweet is nothing. A ton of tweets will do the trick – if you make each tweet valuable.

If you want more traffic, you need to tweet more.

His tweets lack hashtags.

I am not a huge fan of hashtags, but statistics tell that tweets with one or two hashtags get more retweets, more likes and more clicks than tweets without hashtags. The reason is simple: One or two carefully chosen hashtags can easily help your followers to understand what the tweet is about. Plus you have the chance of getting additional attention to your tweets from people searching for these hashtags.

His tweet texts may just need an upgrade

For the best results for driving traffic from Twitter, it is worth to learn about headlines that work well on Twitter. That takes practice. And while I firmly believe that Neil Patel is an expert on perfect social media headlines, he could still choose better posts or headlines if it is traffic he is after. (List posts are the unchallenged ruler on Twitter for traffic)

Neil obviously has some attentive followers. His tweets get a ton more retweets and likes than I get on my tweets (and I have around the same amount of followers on Twitter that Neil has). And still, we (The Social Ms) drive a ton more traffic from Twitter than what Neil Patel claims in the podcast his Twitter account brings him. So we must be doing something right here. And retweets and likes won’t buy you anything. Traffic does.

The question is…

Can anyone drive the kind of traffic we drive and what would you need to do to get serious amounts of traffic from Twitter?

Yes, of course you can (we do!) – and here is how:

1. You need content – a lot of content

No doubt that Neil Patel has tons of great content. He could use this outstanding content and drive traffic from Twitter by simply tweeting a lot more of his articles. While there is some controversy what amount of updates per day is perfect for Twitter, there is no question about it that it is a lot more than three tweets per day. If you have enough content to tweet that many different pieces of content, head for a tweet every hour or even half hour as a start.

2. Use images

Who would even bother to post a link to an article on Facebook without an image? So why does Neil Patel not care enough for his Tweets to use images?

A tweet without an image is not going to get the attention it may well deserve.

You want traffic from Twitter? Use images!

3. Use hashtags

Do not overload your tweets with hashtags, use 1 or 2 hashtags that best fit the content of your tweet.

4. Test headlines – choose the best

The same content can be an utter failure with one tweet text and a huge success with another. In the past, list posts have proven to work best with Twitter. There are other headline types that may work well. Do your homework and learn about headlines.

5. Grow a following

My guess is that Neil Patel did that with exactly the same method that we and many other marketers use: The follow-unfollow routine: Following other Twitter users and unfollowing those who don’t follow back after a while. Be careful to target the right people/accounts and never overdo it. (If you want to know more about this, you can click here.)

Why is my guess that Neil Patel used this growth strategy? Because he follows over 90k people on Twitter. I don’t see another reason to follow that number of people except for growth reasons. Plus Neil Patel has suggested this growth concept for various social networks in some of his article.

Can I prove my point?

Yes, I can. We have built our publishing platform exploreB2B based on our Twitter success.

exploreb2b-traffic

We have grown the traffic for The Social Ms to almost 50k visits per month in just over six months – with the help of Twitter:

the social ms traffic

And we are not alone. A while ago, Uber-Blogger Jeff Bullas has posted about which social networks drive the most traffic to his blog. It is not Facebook that wins: it is Twitter:

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And finally: Why are we not bigger on Facebook if it works so well for Neil Patel?Why Neil Patel Is Totally Wrong About Twitter (1)

We simply do not want to spend several thousand dollars per day on advertising. We also firmly believe that there always is a way of growing traffic from social media when you do not have a large advertising budget.

And we strongly recommend to understand social media marketing first and only then start thinking about using advertising to scale it.

That is one reason we love Twitter: When you know what you are doing, you can grow big on Twitter without paying for it. That is really hard on Facebook if you do not invest advertising money in building fans first.

In case you want to learn how to drive traffic, generate leads and sales from Twitter: Check out our ebook “Grow Your Twitter Account Like A Pro!

twitter-ebook

  • http://www.madalynsklar.com/ Madalyn Sklar

    I feel the same as you Susanna! You hit the mark on this post. I was shocked when Neil bashed Twitter in his podcast. I called him out in a tweet (that he paid no attention to) saying that he would feel differently if he engaged with his audience. He never engages! I think Twitter is the best platform. It works for me.

    • TheSocialMarketers

      Hey Madelyn, sorry for the late reply. Truth be told, it’s hard keeping everything under control with big Twitter accounts.

      But I agree, Neil does proclaim to answer every message he gets – be it comments, emails or whatever. He doesn’t follow his own advice on Twitter and then is surprised that he doesn’t get the same results from this network?

      It’s not that I expect him to be successful on twitter. Not every network works the same for everyone. I cannot make Facebook work for us the same way it works for Neil.

      However, I would have expected Neil to apply more care to his approach to Twitter.

      Guess it’s good to find out that Neil isn’t magically great at everything 🙂

      Susanna

  • http://www.blogginglove.com/ Ravi Chahar

    Hey Susanna,

    This is one rebel topic to discuss. I totally agree with your points. We all have our own ways to allure our readers. Twitter needs the time. You need to use the graphics which can convert.
    Tweeting once or twice a day and complaining about not getting the eposure is like prejudging.
    ~Ravi

    • TheSocialMarketers

      Hey Ravi, welcome on the Social Ms.

      I would never go as far as proclaiming Neil doesn’t know what he is doing, but I agree. I’m pretty disappointed that he doesn’t put more care into twitter before saying that it doesn’t work.

      Susanna

  • Souvik speaks

    I totally agree with your words and also i do the same..

    • TheSocialMarketers

      Hey sounds, welcome on The Social Ms!

  • https://goo.gl/rPdX4a George Nica

    In my opinion, who cares what Neil Patel said. In the market are others, the competition of Neil Patel. I follow and I watch Seth Godin. This is an example and in the market are many who are very best. This Neil Patel, from what I read become rude and is not good to business. The point here, is in fact the attention of users (customers). We need to move the attetion from the rude ”leaders” and in one moment, we will find someone else to follow and to learn. In that moment Neil Patel will lose, with his all ads. By then, people (users) will follow the rude path and everyone with his decision. Thats life. Have a great day ahead!!

    • TheSocialMarketers

      Actually I disagree… Neil is one of the few who really openly states what he is doing. He doesn’t say he is not doing certain things and then does them anyway. He is an aggressive marketer and he openly admits to that.

      I respect that. He is one he’ll of a marketer – which is why we were disappointed in his approach to Twitter.

      Jonathan

      • https://goo.gl/rPdX4a George Nica

        The idea is simple. In the market are many marketers. Now, for who is not a newbie, is a big question in the market, that we must answer and that question is:
        ”Who do you listen to”?
        Ok. I understand, you listen to Neil Patel. Good for you.
        I don’t listen to Neil Patel and I listen to Seth Godin.
        Another internet marketer listen to another leader and so go on.
        That’s the beauty. If you don’t believe me, go on facebook.
        Some posts on their wall offers, join to, etc. Some not.
        The majority who posts on their feed, don’t have results and they wonder ”where is success”!!!!
        Who ask me, I told them, I use ”lists” because I know the answer at this question:
        ”Who I listen to”!!!
        So, I know that not all are interested in business and some are in IM, NM, POD, Forex, etc, so I create lists, I posts accurately and my profile is clean for my friends, for my family and so go on. This was just an example. The hole idea is simple, ”Learn, Implement, Apply” and if is Neil Patel, Seth Godin, Drum blog, SEJ blog, Moz blog, etc if we not setup our mindset to answer that question and to follow those 3 steps, it could be zero. Just my opinion!!

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Sicard

    Hi Susanna, oh yes, I would have to agree with your points on this. One must also be in the present on Twitter often – not just weekly. I think he spends much more time on Facebook and thus the results he gets is from the TIME he also spends besides the $$$ which is high! Do you know if he does any Twitter paid marketing?

  • https://www.timothysnow.com Timothy Snow

    Neil Patel hasn’t grown his Twitter community by way of the bulk follow/unfollow method, although he probably wished he had. He ‘obtains’ 200 per day – which has left him with a network 55% of which is unfortunately inactive, spam, egghead or fake.

    Every shortcut has a price usually greater than the reward.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f3da3cf382862e80386388ab3813fb20ad66a031eff58ae3d361ba5fc4ed6aa.jpg

  • https://webdesignunlimited.co.uk Ann Warne

    I’m relatively new to Twitter (previously I’ve been a bit of a dabbler) and read this with interest. Would you recommend a tweet with an image alone or is the image embedded with any link you may be sharing enough? Is it better to use a separate image to link back to a blog post for example?

  • vivienne neale

    Fantastic points Susanna! I’m a big fan of Twitter, and have had much better results building my community there than on Facebook. And you’re right, Facebook is very powerful but only if you are prepared to pay for it. And I think $12k per day is a little out of my price range!

  • http://www.tulisanbloggerindonesia.com Febriyan Lukito

    Hi, nice share here. I am a fan of Neil as well. Regarding twitter, I have question though, you said to use image, is the featured imaged set for link post consider as an image on twitter or I should twit a photo an insert the link on tweet?