Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter Wars

When I joined Twitter I was a little hesitant about it's purpose. I mean really I had a Facebook and Myspace, why add another site. But, I did it anyways because 'everyone else was doing it.' After spending some time really getting to know Twitter, I was surprised at how people used it. Professional posted articles, quotes, and informational and beneficial tips and tools. It was a place where the average poor college student (me!) was able to connect with CEO's, CMO's, and people just like me all in one place. So I started following everyone; no one was off limits to me. This is where things got interesting to me.

It seems as though people are competing to have the best Tweets or post the latest social media article before anyone else. There aren't many interactions between people. I just hit 500 followers (yay!) and have to say I really have only connected with a handful. Sometimes when you try to connect with someone, they aren't interested in a conversation because they are busy posting 62 one line quotes to break their last record. I thought Twitter was going to give someone like me the chance to network with people I normally would never have had the chance to do so. Instead I just get an inbox full of bulk direct messages about the latest 'get rich quick' scam.

I don't think having a large amount of followers, or following a large amount of people makes a difference. You have to make good connections for it to really be worth anything.

1 comment:

  1. Mindy -

    Don't give up hope on Twitter yet… it won't always be this way. :)

    Here's some things that I've picked up that might help increase your Twitter account's effectiveness. Please feel free to ignore any you've read before.

    1. You've already figured this one out - it's not about quantity, it's about quality. Some people use Twitter to stroke their ego by seeing how many people they can get to follow them. While that might work for them, it doesn't add much value for anyone following them.
    2. When you get a message that someone new is following you, check out their profile thoroughly before following them back. Read their bio, check out their URL and scan the messages that they are sending out. Ideally they'll have a nice mix of original messages, re-tweets & at replies. If they don't, consider it a red flag. This will help you sort out the spammers & ego maniacs pretty quickly.
    3. Use to search key phrases you're interested in, and when you read an update that's good, follow them. You'll know from that initial update that they at least have some value in what they are Tweeting.
    4. Use an application like TweetDeck to keep track of everything. Create groups with the people you're following so they can make sense to you. Like I have a group for local Tweets, a group for @replies and a group for DMs. This helps me keep conversations going by making them easier to follow.
    5. Use TwitterLocal to see what local Twitter users are saying and connect with them. It's a great way to find things going on around you that you may have never heard about, and meet cool people that you've never met before. I'd highly recommend attending at least one TweetUp - they are great fun if you enjoy networking and meeting new people!

    Hopefully this will help you out some. I promise I really didn't get Twitter at first, but it WILL get better. :)