Why Twitter Lists are Less Effective


Image credit: Michael Hamburg.

Twitter introduced the concept of lists about 16 months ago to enable the manual grouping of people into categories.

If you visit Formulists or Listorious you can type a keyword and see the different lists that people maintain. Searching for the keyword apples, for instance, you can read Twitter biographies of the 491 people who someone added to a list about honeycrisp apples. You can either follow the list or follow its members individually.

Any Twitter user can create his or her own list, or follow an existing list — such as the above one about apples. (more…)

An Interview with TweetDeck’s Richard Barley

Richard Barley

Richard Barley

If you use TweetDeck then you may have heard of or met Richard Barley (@richardbarley), TweetDeck’s Community Manager. I first “met” Richard last year when he provided some thoughtful comments to a pair of posts I wrote about TweetDeck, 10 Features I Want to See in TweetDeck and 9 More Features I Want to See in TweetDeck.

I had planned to ask Richard for an interview, but it got put on hold on my end. Finally, after long delay, that interview is here (you can also listen to an extended version of this interview on my podcast, Addicted to Social Media). (more…)

Tweeting to Career Growth

It was not too long ago for me that a “Tweet” was a little yellow bird that was frantically chased about by a hungry cat with a very bad lisp. I had no idea what this Twitter and tweet and tweeps and tweeners (or whatever else) was all about. As I started to study and learn about this unique social media, I started to understand how useful it could be.

Here are some thoughts for anyone just starting out on Twitter.

Do not be Overwhelmed
There are acronyms and sayings that people use and it seems like you have missed this particular foreign language in your upbringing. Do not let this intimidate you. Everyone started there, whether they are willing to admit it or not. (more…)

Twitter’s Black Friday Signals an Exit Strategy

Friday, March 11, 2011 was a black day in Twitter history.  On that day, Twitter announced that they don’t want anyone to make any more third-party Twitter clients. While Twitter didn’t say that there couldn’t be any more clients using the Twitter platform (some services would be grandfathered in and all would have to follow a strict code of conduct), but as far as Twitter’s massive eco-system of third-party developers are concerned, the announcement was essentially a cease and desist order.

I’ve previously written about Twitter’s behavior towards its third-party developers and the risks they’re taking if they focus only on developing Twitter-based tools (See Twitter Commits Suicide and Twipocalypse Now). The bottom line is that building a business that is entirely dependent on a single partner isn’t a safe model to follow. (more…)

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness & Engagement – On Your Own

Using social media effectively, specifically for business, is not merely a popularity game – at least not anymore. At first, that was how we (business owners, marketers, communicators, etc.) measured the effectiveness of our efforts on sites like Twitter, Facebook and the like.

These days are gone – or they should be. No more “spray and pray”. No more throwing information, media like photos and video out on the Web and *hoping* someone looks at it, like your target audience. (more…)

The Pointless Chase of Follow/Unfollow

Regardless of how you use Twitter, there’s one thing you don’t need to worry about half as much as many people do.

I’m talking about mutual/reciprocal following.
When I started using Twunfollow to see who was unfollowing me, I was shocked by one single thing. Not the number of people unfollowing me, not a load of people who I thought of as great contacts, not anything negative at all.

The one thing that surprised me was the number of users who would follow me and unfollow me within a day or two. If I didn’t instantly follow back, I was swept aside. The user didn’t want genuine engagement, they simply wanted me to follow back. The initial follow was simply so another user would reciprocate and add to their following tally.

Most users using an aggressive follow/unfollow technique consist of:

  • spam accounts;
  • promotional accounts;
  • people/brands trying to push their ’social media expertise’;
  • users boasting how many followers they can get.

I don’t understand why anyone still sees value in obtaining so many pointless follows like this. Thousands of untargeted and unengaged followers don’t automatically bring you greater coverage or retweets.

Boasting the number of followers you have is no longer a big deal. A successful account is one that provides value and engagement. If you’re not making a genuine play, even your followers won’t help you out.

Yet people still pay for services that offer loads of followers when you cough up the cash. What’s the point?

If you must improve your follower numbers in an artificial way, here’s one method. Next time you’re followed by an account that’s chasing only the people who automatically follow back, check that user’s list of followers. All you need to do is try following all those users in the hope that they’ll follow you back too! That method costs nothing other than your time…good value, huh?

But it’s not good value, because most of those users won’t actually care about what you’ve got to say. It’s much better to have interested, relevant followers. Isn’t it?

The End of the 140 Character Tweet and its Repercussions

A note from the Editor: After a too-long haitus, Twitip is back. We’ve got some great posts lined up, and we’re always looking for more. This post by Neal Wiser is the kickoff post to our return to a regular posting schedule. Thank you to all who have stayed with us! – Lara

A few weeks ago, Iain Dodsworth, founder and CEO of TweetDeck, introduced Deck.ly, a new component to TweetDeck that allows users to send tweets greater than 140 characters in length. While exceeding the 140 character limit is controversial to some Twitter purists, other services, such as TwitLonger, do the same. But what makes the Deck.ly move different is that it gives Dodsworth, whose TweetDeck has millions of users, the potential to free TweetDeck from its dependence on Twitter.

Or does it?

On the heels of the Deck.ly announcement, TweetDeck was acquired by UberMedia who already owns several other Twitter apps. Yet almost as soon as UberMedia announced the TweetDeck acquisition, Twitter fired a warning shot across UberMedia’s bow by cutting off access to UberMedia’s Echofon, UberTwitter, Twidroyd and UberCurrent apps for alleged policy violations.

TweetDeck, which is highly, but not wholly dependent upon Twitter (it also allows users to connect to other social networks such as Facebook and Linkedin), continued to operate normally during the shutdown. Perhaps it’s because with the TweetDeck acquisition UberMedia now controls an estimated 20% of the world’s daily tweets and TweetDeck represents the vast majority of that traffic. Any wholesale shutdown of UberMedia that includes TweetDeck would be extremely damaging to Twitter. Conversely, the vast majority of TweetDeck’s traffic goes to Twitter. Clearly, ending the Twitter/TweetDeck relationship, at least for now, would be something close to Mutual Assured Destruction. (more…)

5 Ways to Use Twitter to Become a Happier Person

A lot of people see me, you and others “Tweet” and wonder why they should get involved. I am asked this question at least once per week. Twitter is a great, great platform that we can all use to make a big difference in our lives if use it well. Here are some ways that I use Twitter to help me that you can use, too, and become a much happier person.

1. Tweet to help people that you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Be intentional about sharing wisdom and lessons you’ve learned in life. You might do this in concert with a blog or not, but either way, you’ll feel better knowing that there is someone out there benefiting from something you’ve learned. They might be on the other side of the planet, but they’ll appreciate knowing someone else has gone through what they’re experiencing. (more…)

Mike Hossa
@MikeHossa

4 Twitter Tips for College Students Seeking A Career

So you’re a student in a college and you’ve picked up Twitter like everybody else in this social networking trend. However, Twitter is much different than Facebook or even LinkedIn. It’s more of a barbecue-type setting between professionals. Look, I didn’t believe it either, that was until I secured a very desirable internship in my field last summer because of Twitter. So how do you use Twitter to progress professionally? Simple, begin with these four basic steps, and expand accordingly. (more…)

How To Launch, Brand, and Engage A Luxury Twitter Profile

By now virtually every luxury brand realizes how important it is to establish a presence inside Twitter. The major problem is that too may luxury brands still don’t get how to engage to build brand awareness using Twitter. They either tend to only use Twitter for brand promotions or quit too soon to gain influence.

The most important concept to grasp about luxury is that it is a perception. What attracts ultra-rich consumers to buy is not associated with colossal prices as a deciding factor. In the world of luxury quality and experience are the highest characteristics for purchasing decisions. (more…)