I signed up for Twitter in 2009. Since then, I’ve accumulated almost 3,500 followers and tweeted 25,000 times. That’s over 12 times per day for almost 2000 days!
Along the way, I’ve learned a few things – about Twitter, social media and the new realities of digital life.
1. Twitter has reinvented the news wire service.
Twitter has now fully disrupted the news and how it is distributed. It has become THE way we stay informed of what’s going on, especially in real-time news situations.
2. Twitter can be the news wire service for your business.
Despite its 140-character limit, Twitter is a robust information sharing and distribution platform. Think of it as a news wire service for distributing information for your clients and prospects, as well as partners and even staff.
3. Twitter is a powerful social listening tool.
Our Tweets tell us what we’re thinking about and what the people in our networks care about. There are very few people in business that can afford not to listen.
4. Twitter may be the most social of the social networks.
The very thought that you can start and build relationships based on 140-character exchanges may seem far-fetched to skeptics. Yet, I have met and nurtured important business relationships with more people on Twitter than any other social network. You can still approach almost anyone on Twitter, proverbially tap them on the shoulder and have a conversation. No other social network that is as open as Twitter.
5. Twitter is THE definitive platform for thought leaders.
For anyone striving to develop thought leadership on a topic, Twitter is an invaluable tool for both discovering your influencers and for others to discover and engage with you.
6. Twitter is NOT, first and foremost, a marketing platform.
Twitter is primarily about communication and expression. It is a platform for adding value and engaging in relationships with your customers, your peers, and your influencers – in short, your audience. Of course, these interactions, if handled skillfully, can improve client/customer retention, enhance brand reputation and attract new business.
7. Twitter is a frequency platform.
You need to Tweet valuable information numerous times per day on a regular basis in order to get people’s attention and add value – to create a meaningful signal among all the noise. It’s very hard to tweet once every few weeks and have an impact. The best tool I’ve found for managing this aspect of Twitter is Buffer.
8. Twitter attracts haters, but there are far more kind people.
Haters will hate and Twitter has its share of badly behaved people. It is also home to far more decent and kind people who can make your day. Strive to be the latter.
9. Twitter is for natural-born communicators.
People who use Twitter regularly are drawn to the real-time engagement and feedback, and the seemingly limitless networking opportunities that Twitter offers us. It’s almost addictive.
10. It’s not the number, but the quality, of followers that matters.
Many people play the follow-back game on Twitter: they follow whoever follows them in an effort to build up their follower count. It’s not uncommon to find people following more people than follow them. Tools such as Klout, TrustCloud and others strive to measure the influence of your followership.