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Why Twitter Doesn’t Suck

An acquaintance of mine, Jason Mark, recently wrote a blog post on Why Twitter Sucks which pointed out that Twitter is less popular than Myspace, it’s usage has peaked, it’s expensive (ie takes more posting to be considered interactive), and is for “old people” (according to high school students).

While all this may be true, I disagree that twitter sucks. I will say, however, that I’ve found from the analytics on one site that with almost five times as many twitter followers as Facebook fans I still get more traffic from facebook than twitter. I think some of this is that google analytics isn’t counting traffic from twitter clients like Tweetdeck as actually coming from twitter, but still.

So why don’t I think twitter sucks even if it sends less traffic to a site despite more followers than fans, and even if all the rest of Jason’s points are correct? It comes down to one final point Jason makes:

All this being said, there are some audiences which LIVE on Twitter. Geeks. Venture Capitalists. Reporters. Bloggers.

What this means to me is that Twitter is where you find influential people. Maybe you won’t find anywhere near as many customers on twitter, especially if your demographic is young, but what you will find is plenty of the people who can influence your customers.

I’ve gotten a bit of business from people on twitter, but rather than selling to the people I met on twitter, it has been referrals from people I got to know on twitter to other people they know, or at least who know them.

What I have found Twitter to be very good at is becoming friends with people (often influential people) who you never would have met otherwise. Try friending someone you’ve never met on Facebook. Doesn’t usually go so well. But follow them and interact on Twitter and it’s a different story. And As for Facebook pages, from what I’ve found, it can be hard to get people’s attention (and get them to fan you) unless they already know about you. They’re a great way of keeping in touch with people who are already fans though.

As you’ll see if you click on Jason’s name up top, he actually uses twitter, and I don’t get the sense from his post that he really thinks twitter sucks. His point is that you shouldn’t just go jumping into every social media platform you can find. You should examine the platform and see if it’s right for your business. I totally agree with this take, and it’s true of just about everything – not just social media.

That’s my take on it. I agree that twitter may not be the best place to mass market, but I think it’s a great place to make real connections with people who can let you reach a mass market with their help.

What do you think? Does Twitter Suck? Why or why not?

Comments

  1. OK, so granted, I am biased (founder of the TwitterQueens, and all) BUT…if I was left to use only one social media platform it would be Twitter. Myspace? WTH…no one is there anymore and I havent vistited in over three years. Linkedin? Stodgy and no relationship building. Facebook? Love it, but if I was left to choose between FB and Twitter, Twitter would win.

    Why?

    Twitter is all about conversation and relationships (IF you are doing it right). It is the best opportunity to grow your sphere and embrace niche groups or friends of friends.

    Twitter has brought me more gifts in the past few years than I can name in a comment (which is already running long). Twitter Rocks!

  2. Lesley, I’d love to hear you expound a bit more on the subject. I’ve been forcing myself to use it more, and I certainly see the value once I stop trying to use it as a lead generator, but I’ve yet to hit that full stride I fell as though I should be at on it.

  3. Twitter is a great format for artists. Many of us work alone, so having Twitter up on the screen in my home-based studio makes it suddenly feel like I’m working in an artist’s building with the door open. I’ve met so many artists I had never known about, have traded tips and learned about shows and projects and opportunities to show work. Facebook can deliver more “action” on a given post, like when I show a recently finised piece, but the quality of feedback on FB is quite different. My Twitter followers are a more focused group who deliver solid feedback, not just “wow!” “cool” or thumbs up. Facebook is like an art opening, Twitter is like a studio visit.

    • Very interesting! This lines up perfectly with how I view things. Facebook is great for reaching the “public,” Twitter for connecting with the influential people in your area of interest.

  4. Interesting– Twitter is fun– but I think of it more as a way to promote my first love on Social Media–my blog.

    • Good point Ann. IMO any social media platform should be approached with the goal of driving traffic back to something you control – usually a website or blog.

  5. Twitter, like much of life, is what you make of it. I touched on a related theme for the chapter I wrote for Age of Conversation 3. If you follow random people, you are going to have a meaningless mish-mash of things you see in your twitterstream. But if you follow thoughtful, intelligent people, especially if they are in fields that you are interested in and care about, then you’ll have a great experience. I’ve learned an amazing amount of cutting edge information via twitter (including from conferences I was unable to attend in person). So really, it doesn’t matter if Twitter has 1 million people or 100 million or 1 billion people. I can’t interact with more than a couple thousand, and even that is questionable.

  6. I totallly agree with you here. Well I should say that I haven’t been on Myspace in years and loath it. As for Twitter being a great place to find influential people, I 100% agree. And of the many influential people that I follow, more than half actually follow me back and engage me which I really love about Twitter.

    I too don’t use it to sell, though I do use it to promote my blog posts. The traffic I get from Twitter is less than 20 hits a week. But the time I spend on Twitter is comparable to a full time day job. I’m not sure how healthy that is. Good post though!

  7. Good article. Twitter’s not the be-all-end-all. And it’s not everyone’s cup of twea [sic].

    The biggest reason that I believe ‘Twitter Doesn’t Suck’ is because it lets you in on the opinions and chatter of thought leaders. Regardless of your industry, profession or interests, there are leaders whose opinions are valuable. By following these Tweeps you can stay up to speed. More importantly, you can get noticed, laying the groundwork for a personal introduction.

    It’s very cool that on Twitter this type of following is not creepy or considered stalking. It’s what Twitter is for.

    – – Tim

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