Let’s face it. At this point, if you’re not somehow plugged into Twitter, you’re either asleep at the wheel, in complete denial, or my mother. For most people, the allure of real time news, spicy celebrity gossip, and an endless flow of whimsical trivialities from the Twitter pipe is simply irresistible. For marketers, however, Twitter is not all fun and games — especially when dollars, customer relationships, and brand credibility are on the line.
The month of August has been a rough one for Twitter, replete with major outages, security issues, and intermittent downtime. With the rocky road has been troubling to folks at Twitter, it has also spread serious waves throughout the Twitter ecosystem, inevitably impacting the numerous entities who rely on the resource on a regular basis. Close to home, the compete.com team experienced some of this pain during the heat of a Datanugget Friday session on August 7th (For those unfamiliar with Compete Datanugget Fridays, the idea is "Tweet us a domain and we’ll tweet you back a tasty datanugget for that site"). With nugget requests from our followers steadily flowing in, suddenly things screeched to a halt. Twitter outage straight up killed our Datanugget Friday and all those positive brand interactions.
Using Daily metrics from Compete PRO, I took a look at the August outages to understand how they impacted the biggest sites directly dependent upon Twitter. Checking out Daily Reach for Twitter’s own status page, status.twitter.com, we’re able to easily identify the specific dates when Twitter was down by traffic to the page, as people sought answers and updates on August 6-7 and again on August 11th.
So with Twitter down and out, which sites took the fall? The Daily Attention data below show that time spent on popular sites twitpic.com, bit.ly, ow.ly on these days was way down from normal levels.
If you’re a marketer married to Twitter, or a site that feeds off the service, how do you avoid getting dragged into the mire? It’s sort of like learning to live without electricity for a little while. No perfect solution right now, but fire up the generator and get creative with some other channels. If all else fails, light some candles, grab a blanket, and wait for the lights to go back on.