Are You Using Twitter Yet?

Mar 30th

While I signed up nearly a year ago, I just recently started using Twitter. As a marketer I find it both interesting and fascinating...as it is more transparent than most social networks are. People often write back and forth using @username when they want to send another person a message, which sometimes draws you into other conversations. And since everyone you follow is someone you know or related to someone else you know it is really easy to get pulled in. And the social pressure of being associated with everything you do (no anonymous domain registration here folks) prevents Twitter from becoming a spam filled mess. Maybe there is some way such a system could be applied to search?

People can subscribe to get short blurbs from you (and whoever else they like), and the system is almost instantly self-correcting. It is the complete opposite of email spam hype marketing - if you want off the list you get off the list. If I were to spew nothing but hollow hyped up marketing messages nobody would subscribe (and many would unsubscribe). Conversely, if I help give people a laugh (and share the goodness of pearl drink worldwide) people subscribe. Next to peace and SEO, pearl drink is the best thing you can spread.

Ok...back on topic, so where was I.... I recently started using Twitter. From a social network and marketing standpoint Twitter is worth checking out and understanding. If you would like to check it out you can sign up here, and if you want to follow me, I am awall19.

Here are some of my favorite Twitter feeds: webgirl, Graywolf, Rae, Copyblogger, Mike McDonald, Chris Winfield, ChrisG tamar, Stuntdubl, Lee Odden, Barry, Debra Mastaler, Todd Mintz, Vanessa Fox and Danny Sullivan.

Henry Rollins is using Twitter too!

And by far, Neil Patel is out in front on the "people subscribed to" list, with over 8,000! I think (once he finds time to) he will finish up writing that final blog post about stopping everything else in favor of reading Twitter 23.9 hours a day. ;)

Published: March 30, 2008

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Comments

March 30, 2008 - 6:14am

I didn't quite get Twitter when I first heard about it. All I could think was who would really care what you were doing every moment of the day. I was very wrong.

I've learned that I do want to know what people are doing. It gives you a chance to learn who they are beyond what they say on their blogs or in forums. You get a more inside look into the every day of people.

I've found it's much easier to get to know someone on Twitter than it is through other social networks. People are generally much more willing to respond to someone they don't know.

I learn a lot just by listening to others tweet and I've gotten to know some people I probably wouldn't have known any other way.

By the way thanks for following me. I'll try to keep it interesting and not add too much noise to conversation.

March 30, 2008 - 10:05am

I'm following you for a while and i'm stoked that now i can follow Henry Rollins too!

March 30, 2008 - 10:36am

Well, I am still not convinced, even while every SEO/M and his dog has a post about their twitter revelation these days.... but, maybe following Rollins might push me over the edge and sign up. :)

March 30, 2008 - 10:57am

Rollins was my A plan for getting Twitter subscribers...its like when you ask for a link and you throw in a good site to make the self recommendation look less biased and self-serving. :)

March 30, 2008 - 4:08pm

Back in high school, one lunch period, Henry Rollins (still a member of Black Flag I think) showed up and read poetry for an hour. It was a heck of an memorable experience. Via Twitter, I messaged Henry about it...he's yet to respond:.)

At least @henryrollins follows people...last time I checked, @snoopdogg hasn't followed anybody yet.

Thanks for the shout out here...I got about 10 new followers last night...this might be why :.)

March 31, 2008 - 12:01am

I've been using it a lot more recently as well. It takes a bit of getting used to and you have to get your feet wet and learn before you'll be able to make the most of it (just like blogging etc).

I'm @rosshill there.

March 31, 2008 - 3:06am

UGH. No, absolutely, rigidly, no.

(Here's a plug for Dom Ramsey, for writing this substantial and well thought out article about why twitter sucks.")

March 31, 2008 - 6:00am

^ I agree with you, it's a waste of time and the information format does nothing but fragment your attention and focus.

As I only have so much time in the day that I want to be a on a computer, I like to either read really good blogs and websites (this one for example) or work.

It couldn't have been said better here:

If you haven’t heard of twitter then you’ve either been living on another planet for the past few months, or you’re the kind of person that has a life.

March 31, 2008 - 5:59am

Hi Aaron,

Do you know any good internet business, or general business blogs that you would recommend someone interested in the subject? I like your stuff more for the business thinking than the actual SEO advice and I would love to find a few blogs with the same level of sophistication that cover other aspects of business.

Thanks,
Justin

March 31, 2008 - 6:58am

Hi Justin
I like Seth Godin's blog a lot. And many of the financial related blogs like The Big Picture and Paul Kedrosky because they offer great advice and rationalize how and why markets work like they do...fascinating stuff. blog.pmarca.com and BlogMaverick are good stuff too.

March 31, 2008 - 11:55am

...well, i've added you.

The problems is that there is a lot of NOOOOISE on the twitter: if they added some sort of filtering, it would be really nice.
For example i could twitter in italian or english and i would probably piss off some of the audience or both in the long run.
If i could "group" the followers, i could twitter the updates of my italian food site only to the relevant people.

And the fact the updates are coming from a lot of people, means that i need to read ALL of them in order to get some sense and that disrupt my feeble concentration at work (even at home).

Some tagging filter, group options, and it would be nice. Pownce run in this direction, but i find it cumbersome. Stilish but cumbersome.

March 31, 2008 - 4:53pm

We must admit...we didn't really know what all this Twitter talk was about. We figured it was overrated and didn't quite see the use - that is, until we really figured it out. Now we can totally see the more personable approach to branding and networking that Twitter provides. It's definitely something worth exploring!

March 31, 2008 - 5:45pm

I've been hooked for awhile. I agree you need to separate the noise, but regular pruning should take care of that. I'm @danperry

Also wrote an article on companies engaged with Twitter. So far, only found two that are truly "engaged". Well, at least by my definition.

http://danperry.com/wordpress/companies-engaged-with-twitter/

March 31, 2008 - 6:00pm

I'm definitely a big fan of twitter. I've been using it to discuss social media and marketing. Feel free to follow me on twitter guys!

http://www.twitter.com/jacobm

pureblogic
March 31, 2008 - 6:55pm

I read some of the comments here and I had to laugh. I joined twitter about 2-3 months ago and I thought it was absolutely stupid. I could not see the benefit in it at all until I sat down one afternoon and just watched the tweets. Then I started to come across people I was familiar with who were using twitter to market their posts. I started doing the same thing! Then, I started going to http://www.twittervision.com. This changed everything!

You can see all of the tweets from all over the world on an interactive map and you REALLY start seeing how absolutely incredible twitter is and how TV stations are using it to broadcast breaking news, traffic stations are using it to tell people about accidents to avoid, regular people are using it to promote products, people are using it for conversations, people are using it to make introductions and so on. It is an absolutely incredible thing. It isn't perfect because sometimes the volume of traffic shuts the service down temporarily, however, anyone with good content or something positive to say can build a small following rather quickly. When I have what I think is a great post, I put it on twitter. Although the traffic hasn't been massive, I do get a fair amount from twitter according to my google analytics tracking.

There are also other benefits from using twitter. The key is to use your domain name if you can and post about things that are on your front page. That way the people who capture twitter's public timeline via the API will also capture the link to your site. That way you can market your post, build backlinks to your site and market yourself. If people don't want to hear what you have to say, they simply won't subscribe. Everyone needs to be doing something with twitter.

You can see my tweets here to see how I've been using twitter -
http://www.twitter.com/pureblogic

April 1, 2008 - 6:57am

What would make Twitter better (than useless)? That is the question that has to be answered if it isn’t going to be a “gone tomorrow” fad.

ideas:
- Auto update your location via personal GPS -to-SMS
- Connect your IP webcam and show your place of work or home live
- Live video of your eye’s view via video glasses
- Auto tracking your movement on the web… a trail of URLs

All assumes you don’t actually like privacy of course…

April 2, 2008 - 6:59am

I'm new to using Twitter and still trying to "figure it out" from a personal perspective but mostly from a business perspective. As an SEO/Link Builder how can we maximize it's potential while not "spamming" it...and maintaining the integrity of it's purpose.

Aaron: you do great work thanks! I installed the new Rank Checker today though and it looks good although it seems to be slightly off. By off I mean it might say one of my sites is at position #26 in Google but when I verify that it's at position 22. Any thoughts on that?

thx,

- Chris

April 2, 2008 - 7:20am

Hi Chris
Our tool currently grabs 100 results at a time, which accounts for some ranking variances.

As far as spamming vs participating...I think that is something we each must determine over time based on gut instinct and experience.

RoyalBlueStuey
April 3, 2008 - 1:32pm

Our survey say.....X

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