Written Posts

Why My Twitter Use Has Changed

0 Comments 01 August 2011

When I joined Twitter on August 23, 2007 I was clueless.  I really didn’t even start using the platform for about 6 months.  I was still an early adopter at that point, so I spent a bunch of time learning the ins and outs of the platform.  I connected with a number of online marketing nerds and made some special connections with some incredible apartment marketing nerds.  We used to spend hours at night having debates and conversations on Twitter.  It was like one big chat room.

Then and today, I’ve used Twitter mainly for business.  Most of my tweeting is to converse/share with multifamily connections, to report live from multifamily conferences, during #aptchat, or to share multifamily housing and/or social media marketing related links.  I’m not sure if this has been a good or a bad thing, but it has definitely defined my strategy for using Twitter in general.

Of course things have changed since the early days.  While my business frame of mind hasn’t changed, the way I use Twitter has changed.  The biggest change has been my time commitment to the platform.  I don’t spend hours watching the stream anymore.  To be honest, it’s noisy.  Instead, I’ve set up filters to break out social media people, apartment people, Indiana people, and even golfers.  In addition, I’ve set up search terms that are relevant to multifamily or to J.C. Hart.  Unfortunately I set up most of this prior to Twitter creating “lists”, so I’ve done most of this using the Tweetdeck program.  Tweetdeck allows me to set up audio alerts for activity when I want it, and let me create groups before Twitter had “lists”. (22 columns and counting.)

For the most part I don’t hangout on Twitter anymore, and I go there for a purpose.  If I get an alert of some sort I check Tweetdeck.  While I’m there I will take whatever action necessary and might scan my Apartment Nerds group.  Then I’m back to whatever I was doing.  I really have made a dedicated effort to ignore the noise.  It honestly can be a time sucker.  Once a day I will make a conscious effort to check my search columns and scan my group columns as well.  All is this is pretty well planned, and it’s definitely secondary to the project I’m working on.

While my use has definitely evolved, I have found myself monitoring and using Twitter differently with mobile apps as well.  It does allow me to respond quickly, and when I do have some downtime I find it interesting to read through my full Twitter stream and make comments or retweet posts from people that may not be in usual circles.

In the end, I think Twitter is a useful tool for real-time data sharing and for real-time data search.  The platform seems to continue to move more and more that direction.  It will be interesting to see how it continues to evolve over the next couple years.  I know for me it’s carrying less weight, but it’s still an important tool in my social media tool belt regardless of my changing commitment to it.

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