Is Twitter Still Popular (and Useful)?


Pondering BirdMaybe you’ve noticed it too, and you’re asking yourself the question:

Is Twitter still popular enough, that it’s worth your continued time investment?

The Pew Research

The Pew Research Center released its “Twitter Use 2012” findings at the end of May. Among them were:

  • 15 percent of online adults use Twitter, and 8 percent use it on a typical day;
  • The number of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011, and quadrupled since late 2010;
  • The increase in smartphones might account for some of the increase in Twitter usage.

And yet … and yet … I find that the average tweeter’s posts are overlooked, more and more. Is it just me, or do only the news outlets, celebrities and thought leaders benefit from this once-awesome platform?

Twitter’s Evolution: Good or Bad for Writers?

I mention writers here, because I’M a writer, as are many of you. However, this can apply to anyone who is building an online presence.

According to an April, 2012 Mashable article, Twitter is still the number two most-used social platform (falling behind Facebook, which is number one). NBC reporters used Twitter to gather collective insight on public opinion during this year’s Summer Olympics. And I learned about the infamous Osama Bin Laden news on Twitter.

However, I’ve noticed it becoming harder and harder to build a presence on Twitter if you’re not already established. For those of us who are unknown writers (i.e. NOT Stephen King, Judy Blume, or Tina Fey), perhaps building a Twitter presence isn’t as important as … say … two years ago.

Maybe, what’s become more important, is for others to tweet your content, rather than you.

The NEW Twitter: Getting Shared is King

In my own experience, not many people will read a blog post when I tweet the link. However, if others tweet it, Twitter becomes a top traffic driver for my article that day.

Crazy, huh?

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: Twitter is important. You should retain a presence on it. However, if you’re not a thought leader, journalist, news outlet or celebrity, you’re better off concentrating on creating content others will share for you. And continue using Twitter as a feed to stay on top of industry trends.

What do you think? Have you noticed any of the trends I mentioned above? Is Twitter still useful for YOU?

One thought on “Is Twitter Still Popular (and Useful)?

  1. Thanks for deconstructing this, Shari! Twitter has been extremely useful to me, for getting excellent editing clients as well as quick response from giant companies I needed service from.

    Yet, I’ve felt more and more as you’ve described—that the responses to and re-tweeting of my posts has slacked off, unless others tweet of those posts. Also that there’s far less reciprocity among like minded tweeters. It seems that writers with similar followings don’t do a lot of retweeting outside of a certain circle of friends. Too bad. I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s made me cut down on retweeting *their* stuff.

    Like

C'mon, you MUST be thinking something.

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