I don’t think this is a stretch. Nobody really has any idea how to use Twitter. And each month I find more and more people on my “haven’t tweeted in 30-days” list. And some of these folks are SEO workers, social media mavens, or otherwiseknownas “people in the business.” And they’re dropping off Twitter at an alarming rate.
So as things go with technology these days, if it’s solving a problem you use it, when it ceases to be useful you drop it. Twitter is falling into the latter category.
Social: The friendly part of Twitter is quickly dying off. I have very few social conversations on Twitter these days. When I am active, and posting odd and skewed perspectives on Twitter, I get maybe one response in twenty tweets. I using to get some witty reparte going on Twitter with friends and frenemies. But not more, the line has gone dead for social fun. (Update 11-28-11: Try this. Ask a question on Twitter. I used to get 3 – 5 responses, often from people I didn’t know. Now I’m lucky to get one reply for every 10 questions. I miss the interactions.)
Small Business: Other than tweeting coupons for weekend food and drink specials and a mad rush of Black Friday sale tweets. Small business simply has no idea why or what to tweet. And I don’t blame them. I’m not really listening for that, are you? In fact, I use a filter on Tweetdeck that completely removes “coupon” or “on sale” tweets from my feed.
Big Business: The case study of all case studies is DellFactoryOutlet. It seems so routine today, but tweeting special deals with specific OFFER CODES that could be tracked back to Twitter was a pretty big deal. The first million made using Twitter was Dell’s claim to fame for quite some time. Well, everyone has caught on to the idea. Entire businesses have sprung up to do the DFO-concept to the extreme. And I couldn’t care less.
Social Evangelists: So what exactly do I listen for? What do I tweet these days? As much as I would like to think I am a tasteful tweeter, and I have put some time into trying to figure out what that means, I too am broadcasting more than I’m listening. I still hope for conversation tweets, but it seems people have less time and less patience for tweeting. If it’s not part of their job, most normal people are turning off Twitter. So a lot of time time what we get is people tweeting about tweeting. Or better yet, people tweeting about Facebook and Google+, I guess because Twitter is a better place to rant than the actual networks themselves.
And one thing that Twitter still has is tools to measure, listen, parse, search, graph and track Tweets. So it is a social media marketer’s dream. You can get real-time graphs on sentiment, on esoteric measurements like “share of voice.” And the couponers must be making a killing on Twitter because a new group-coup business seems to start up every week.
But if the only people really listening are the social media marketers, it becomes the proverbial echo chamber. We are only hearing ourselves talk about ourselves.
Oh, and I guess there are a lot of people who are the exact opposite of me, who are tuning IN to the COUPONS. Making decisions on where to eat or go to happy hour based on the #hashtag or deal of the moment.
Have your Twitter habits changed? Do you value the conversation you are having on Twitter? Have you stopped tweeting all together? I sure hope Facebook has not really won!
I’m not saying I’ve given up on Twitter. In fact I’m working even harder, see links below, to educate people on how to tweet better and do research on Twitter. But if I’m growing tired and cynical about Twitter, it’s no wonder the non-social-media-focused person has much patience to learn something that seems so time consuming.