It's Twitters 10th Birthday, let's have a look at how it got to where it is today.
Happy 10th Birthday Twitter! It's amazing how ingrained you've become in our lives. You have become a daily news source, a giant mixer, a meeting place and a never ending daily networking group! Twitter boasts 320 million active users, as of December 2015. It is estimated that every second there are 6,000 tweets or 500 million PER DAY! Lately, there are talks of user decline. That may be true, I am not noticing a decline in engagement on my end. We have discussed in the past varying uses for social media. Here on our blog in February 2015 we discussed how Social Media can provide a treasure trove of content for your business or blog. Daily, I find new content to share or generate new blogs with. Let's take a look at some key aspects of Twitter.
1. # Hashtags. The "#hashtag" made it's debut on August 23, 2007, by former Google Developer Chris Messina. The first one was "#barcamp". Chris used it to find people for a group/like interest. At first, it was scoffed at. Two days later, Stowe Boyd suggested the name "hashtag" and so it was born!
2. Trending topics. The hashtag has become key in "Trending Topics". Users can follow the latest breaking news, announcements, etc via Twitter's Trending Topics.
3. Followers. Followers are the core component of sharing content, networking, and engagement. Some people actually purchase followers, some play a balanced game of a ratio of followers to following. Some people believe you should follow back everyone who follows you. My opinion is how you choose who to follow is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong way. I may not follow back a follower due to an interest level. I may Tweet something that is useful to them, but the same may not be true of them for my interests. I feel as though in order to stay informed and keep up with my Twitter feed, I need to be selective in who I follow, and not simply follow to follow. Then, of course, there is the "follow for a follow game" or those that will unfollow you if you don't follow back in a specified time.
4. Direct Messages. Ah, these can really cause headaches for some of us. Especially, the automated messages that still, after all, this time arrive in our inbox. In my opinion, Direct Messages should be used when you need to reach someone privately if your "social" conversation warrants it, not to be an automatic trigger to thank them for a follow or send unsolicited links.
5. Follow Friday. I still see these pop up once in a blue moon. A few years back, these were all the rage in the Twitter popularity contest. There were even individuals who made a Friday blog about their recommendation giving an in-depth run down on who the person was and why you should follow them.
6. News. Today, journalists and major news networks utilize Twitter to not only share breaking news but to research and gather breaking news reports themselves. When a celebrity passes away, there is a natural disaster, political news, sports news or any type of breaking news, you can bet it will be blowing up your Twitter feed.
7. Engagement. Twitter doesn't work without engagement. It is still a massive networking group. We share content, news, and information with others. We do it for fun, to boost business and to learn. Everyone uses social media and Twitter for different purposes and in different ways. No one way is right or wrong. Sure there can be specific functions that will help you attain whatever goal you may have for using social media in the first place. But, again, everyone's goals are different. As we all know, the Twitter world is full of social media guru's, rock stars, ninjas, and experts. Each one of us is unique as is our business. How we use Twitter to benefit us or our company and brand is just as unique. What works for one may not work for another. The best advice I can give is to participate, think before your Tweet, be respectful and listen as much as you share. Happy 10th Birthday Twitter!