I’ve been on TwitterÂ for some time now and have continued to watch the traffic grow. Â The value for me was to stay informed a bit better on developers in the Django and Ruby on Rails communities. Â Using IRC on freenode worked for a while, but it seemed to be too cluttered with people learning the environments rather than people interested in adding to the environments. Â Don’t get me wrong, IRC is an invaluable source for troubleshooting your applications and that type of traffic doesn’t belong in Twitter.
Recently I’ve seen more and more marketing people getting involved in twitter as if this is something where they can spam, and I do mean spam in a derogatory sense, non-sense in the hopes of getting reach through following everyone and trying to get everyone to follow them. Â Is the real value in watching or publishing only to your follower’s list?
I believe the power of twitter is not watching your followers list getting spammed with “@noonespecial I really like to chat with you, DM me sometime for hugs and kisses.” Â Maybe I’m a bit too cynical with this, but come on. Â You’re there to find people interested in your services or providing a service to others. Â In this economy, I realize that spam and reach may be your only way to feel like you have some sort of false value. Â I do sympathize, but is it worth the cost of turning Twitter into a spam haven?
Now onto what I find to be the most powerful usage of Twitter, or at least one of the tools that makes Twitter an invaluable tool. Â Search API. Â For those of you that have a Twitter client on your desktop like TweetDeck, I would highly recommend adding a window for search. Â The most recent version allows you to combine search terms with OR and AND for those that want to aggregate multiple topics. Â You can use this to find useful information and people that are possibly interested in your services or company. Â I use it now to track programming and local area stuff. Â I’ve almost gone to ignoring what’s in my follower’s list since it’s been a bit too chatty.
In summary, I think if you’re on Twitter to make money or bring value to your business then consider every tweet before you hit the send button. Â Does this tweet add value to my brand? Â Should this be a Direct Message? Â Do I sound like a 13 year-old? Â Am I only tweeting because I watched some savvy presentation at a(n) (un)conference of (un)employed marketing people? Â Twitter can be a useful tool if your not a tool while using it.