This week’s Twitter column is about a very intriguing survey by Neicole Crepeau. She surveyed 336 Internet users asking them several questions about their Twitter usage and perception. The most note-worthy finding is that most of those who have quit Twitter did it out of boredom.
At the same time these people didn’t use Twitter in a way that made Twitter interesting in the first place. So in a way it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: You use Twitter in a boring way and you quickly get bored of it.
I don’t want to argue that Twitter is interesting beyond doubt and for everybody. It depends of course. Neicole Crepeau has gathered data that suggests it was their own fault though.
Most people who have quit Twitter did it after a month or less. Moreover they have followed only 10 people or less and used solely the Twitter website (no external tools or clients). That’s like making your feet wet in a puddle and then saying that “swimming sucks”. They haven’t tried hard enough.
That’s maybe too abstract as an advice so I’ll suggest some ways how beginners can make the Twitter experience less boring from the start.
- Follow at least 50 people but not more than 500 at the beginning to have enough but not too much to read.
- Focus on 3 topics you want to read about on Twitter, in my case it’s SEO, blogging and social media.
- Search for popular tweets and people covering your topics using tools like Topsy and Tweetmeme and pick the best users to follow.
- Organize your Twitter experience by external tools like Tweetdeck or Echofon and internal tools like Twitter lists and favorite users aka “top friends”.
- Connect your website and blog to Twitter to make sure to get enough followers yourself. Ask your readers to follow.
- Stay on Twitter for a few months and check your tweets a few times a week at least.
- Reply and retweet and also start conversation yourself by asking general questions where many people can contribute.
You see it’s not that difficult. Now in case Twitter is still boring OK, you have tried hard enough. Of course you need time and effort but Twitter is not about passive lurking, it’s social networking.