A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to join the Twitter movement. I have mixed feelings on Twitter, so I want to list out what I feel the pros and cons are of this particular form of communication:
– Brevity: 140 characters is not very many in which to send a message. You have to get to the point quickly. I am a big fan of brevity, so this is one of my favorite aspects of Twitter.
– Reach: I have made contact with a great many people that it likely would have taken me considerably longer to reach had I not been on Twitter.
– Speed: Sometimes when I put up a new blog post I will sit there for a few minutes and wait for a reaction. Sometimes I get reactions right away, sometimes I have to wait several hours and on a few occasions I don’t get a reaction to until the following day. Twitter is fairly instant. When I tweet something I will either get a response within a few minutes or it will be ignored completely. Either way I can draw my conclusions and move on with my day.
– Ability to develop repeat customers: There are a variety of different ways that I could attract people to my site. The problem with most methods is that it generates a one-time viewing. If they don’t see something that they like on that first visit, then they are not likely to come back. Twitter lets people know every day that I posted something. Some folks may stop by once a week, and just read one post and that is fine as long as they keep coming back periodically.
– Noise level – There are a lot of people talking on Twitter and it is hard to be heard over the crowd. Really putting some thought into your article titles can help you a great deal. I also think repetition can help you, but too much repetition just makes you part of the noise. I usually tweet my current post 2-3 times each day. I don’t think that is too much or too little, but I would be curious to hear others opinions on that.
– Autotweets: Twitter is a form of social media. In my opinion that means you have to be present to play. I don’t like autotweets. First of all, the people that are sending autotweets are the same people that are tweeting 20+ times a day. These are the people that I stop following as soon as I realize what they are doing. I want live people in my Twitter feed. I like to engage you and sometimes have a little conversation right there on Twitter. Am I the only one that does not understand the value of autotweets? Do you continue to follow people that tweet 5-10 times an hour for all twenty four hours of the day? I can’t follow those people as they clearly have no respect for my time.
– Click through: I don’t completely trust my stats page in WordPress, but let’s assume it is accurate. If it is, then on a really good day I get about 5 hits from Twitter. If that were my only goal, then I don’t know that Twitter is providing me enough of a payback to warrant the time I am spending on it. This was the reason that I started using Twitter, but I find it far more useful to actually try and build relationships on Twitter. If you engage with people on a regular basis, then they will eventually get curious and check out your site. Relationships take time, and you just have to be patient.
What do you love about Twitter? What do you hate about Twitter? Are you using it to help drive traffic to your site, if so how are you doing it? Is there anything else that you would suggest that I do on Twitter?