Do you have Twitter problem? Are you a twitterholic? Do you have a problem pulling yourself away from posting tweets, checking for replies and direct messages? Do you feel that you need to stay on Twitter constantly to preserve your brand? I know there are days when I feel like this. If there isn’t a conversation going on with @replies, I do keyword searches to look for tweets to respond to.
To be sure, Twitter is a great tool for a number of purposes:
- Connecting with people with shared interests.
- Connect with other practitioners.
- Finding out what is happening in your interest area.
- Finding the best articles and content from around the web.
- Publicizing your own content.
- Getting questions answered.
- Following the hot events at conferences, CLEs, and conventions.
Here is the problem: Twitter is words on the wind. Twitter is about the NOW. What’s happening. What’s cool. What’s worth looking at. There are a lot of metaphors to describe this:
Twitter is like a party. When you get there, you don’t make everyone repeat everything that was said before you arrived.
Twitter is like a stream. You don’t have to see every drop of water. You just enjoy what is going by when you are there.
The flipside of this is that unlike blogs, videos, or podcasts you are not building a library of content with Twitter. Once you miss a tweet, it is gone. This is not strictly true of course: you can scroll back, you can see a particular person’s prior tweets, you can even search for tweets during a particular time or subject. However, the further back you try to go, the more difficult it becomes. An article you wrote two years ago may still be the number one hit on Google for that subject. However, your tweets from two years ago are worthless for driving people to your site today.
This is something I need to remind myself on those days when I just want to check for replies and messages. The time I spent hitting refresh and running searches might be much better spent writing a post for the blog.
Where does Twitter fit in your social media strategy?
Twitter is important for socializing. People have to know you, to find your content, read it, and pass it on to their friends. Twitter is one of the best ways to get the word out about your content and making connections with others that will spread the word.
It is also very easy to get caught up with tweeting.
I have to connect with people. I have to respond to people. I have to reach out!
These are all valid uses but it is easy to get to the point that you can’t stop tweeting.
If I step away, my brand disappears!
Just remember, you are not building content that will drive people to your site for years. Twitter is about socializing. You have to balance that with generating content that you can be known for. If you really feel the need to maintain regular content, consider using a scheduling service like hootsuite to spread out your tweets over the day even if you are AFK (away from keyboard).