Have you ever thought about who sees your tweets? I often do. I was reading an article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine titled, “I Tweet, Therefore I am” in which the author Peggy Orenstein ruminates
How much, was I shaping my Twitter feed, and how much was Twitter shaping me?
She goes on to say that “The expansion of our digital universe has shifted not only how we spend our time but also how we construct identity”. She’s right you know. We tweet for others. Or do you tweet just to tweet? No, you tweet so that you can be heard by others…To have conversations, to network, to create business opportunities. But do you want to know something that might make this a losing proposition?
The others that we tweet for, really consists of about 1% of the total number of people following you at any given time. In other words, if you have 126 people following you (which is the average) chances are when you tweet something, 12 of them are reading it or might read it. Let’s knock that number down further and say of those 12, 2 may respond.
Depending on what you say and when you say it, the audience that you are playing to, really consists of a minute few at any given time. Which means depending on your professional background for instance, what you tweet may truly be shaped by that small group of people that a) decided to follow you in the first place and b) actually decided to respond or aknowledge your tweet.
Consider this: According to Harvard Business Review study from last year the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets which implies that the pattern of contributions on Twitter is more concentrated among the few top users which further implies that Twitter resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.
So if you have 126 followers,
- Who is really deciding what you tweet?
- Are you being heard?
- If so, by how many at any given time?
- What is the net result of your tweeting?
- Does this mean that although we talk about Twitter being about quality, it is truly driven by quantity to be effective?
- Do we need to define or redefine what being “effective” on Twitter really means?
- What do your tweets consist of?
- What are you hoping to get out of what you tweet?
- If your 126 followers are for business purposes, is your Twitter strategy really that effective with such a small number?
- Since joining Twitter what have you gotten out of it?
It might be time to step back and evaluate what you are doing on Twitter.