What tool is better for what situation, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media apps like Twitter over free changelog software?
Why pick dedicated changelog software over a Twitter account when it comes to keeping your customers updated?
Don't worry, we're not going to try and convince you not to have a Twitter account! We use ours every day, but we would argue that Twitter isn't always the right tool for the job.
Let's have a look at the advantages of using Twitter against a dedicated Changelog tool like ChangeCrab for posting company updates.
It forces you to think about your priorities - The Twitter character limit isn't always ideal for changelogs and updates, but it does force you to highlight the biggest changes first and encourages you to post smaller updates more often, both of which are good practices for communicating company updates. By pushing us to write only what's most important, we're more likely to catch the attention of potential readers.
You're speaking to a wide audience - A large portion of your audience is likely to have a Twitter account, and there's no denying the size of the audience on Twitter is massive. Through retweets and hashtags, every tweet you make has the potential to be seen by more than just the people following you. While it may be unlikely that a company update is going to go viral, there's always a huge potential audience on Twitter and there's no barrier to entry for engagement providing that customer or lead is already using Twitter.
Things move too quickly - Most people use Twitter by viewing their own home page, or via lists, and they don't end up viewing individual profiles. This is especially true for companies. That means that once you post, you've got a very limited opportunity to get that post in front of people. That might be helpful for a quick bug-fix, but for a brand-new feature, it's too transient. Of course, you can pin tweets, but you only get to pin one at a time, so unless it's a major update, that isn't always helpful. For all of Twitter's large audience, there's a lot of noise you need to cut through to get your updates in front of people.
It's harder to write to an audience - If you have a dedicated changelog tool then you know that everyone reading it is there for a similar reason - for company updates. You also know they are likely to be some of your most promising prospects or dedicated customers. On Twitter, you could be talking to just about anyone, and while you do have your own set of followers, they could be following you for a much larger number of reasons. We tend to use our Twitter account to talk to many different audiences, and for different reasons, such as customer support.
Brevity is not always helpful - Sometimes you just need to say a little more than the Twitter character limit will allow. This can be especially important if you need to talk about issues affecting service or apologize for problems, as the limited space on Twitter can make such updates seem a little insincere and trite. It's always helpful to be able to spend a little more time talking about more complicated features or improvements. Sure, you can link your Twitter to your blog, but it's another click and another barrier to entry for your reader.
Not EVERYONE uses Twitter - When owning an online business, especially a SaaS or tech company, it's easy to forget that not everyone has Twitter. Are you sure that customers can access important updates about your company without a Twitter account? A changelog app can embed such information directly onto your site which can be very helpful in converting leads. Not only are you not interrupting customer flow, but you aren't relying on a whole other company and service to inform your customers of what's going on.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from using both Twitter and a dedicated changelog. Our changelog software, ChangeCrab, lets you post your changelogs to your social media accounts automatically, and there will always be times when one is better than the other, or both apply. The important thing is picking the right tool for the job and being consistent with your updates.