Last week I visited with a colleague who has used Twitter smartly and effectively for her small business for a couple years. Prior to our conversation, I decided to ask if she’s sensing a decline in the return on her investment with Twitter.
I never had the opportunity. She beat me to it, saying that Twitter doesn’t generate nearly the quality or quantity of interaction for her that it did a year ago.
I’m seeing the same thing. I concede that the observations of two people aren’t statistically valid, but my hunch is that Twitter users have reached — and passed — a saturation point. For example, I follow about 1,200 people, and my main feed is impossible to keep up with anymore. In fact, I stopped trying about six months ago.
My other hunch is that, as we all became so efficient in using Twitter, a disconnect occurred: the art of building relationships got lost in the science of becoming bigger, stronger, and faster with our Twitter usage. As a result, the feeling of being “in community” with people diminished.
My response has been to use hashtags and lists to focus on the subjects and the people that I want to follow and connect with. As I said in this post, I follow the term “solopreneurs” to keep up on the chatter regarding solo-business issues. I have lists that help me stay on top of the info that my “high-value” followees provide.
And perhaps the changes that Twitter announced last week will make Twitter the valuable relationship-building tool that it once was for solo businesses.
I’m hopeful, but I’m not counting on it.
What About You?
Has Twitter’s effectiveness changed for you? How are you changing with it? Please share your comments below.