To tweet or not to tweet… how important is it really?

Posted: November 23, 2009 in social media, Twitter
Tags: , , ,

Brian Solis tells us in his post  “Guess how many tweets fly across Twitter each day” that

According to new data from Pingdom, Twitter users are averaging 27.3 million tweets per day with an annual run rate of 10 billion tweets.

So with 27.3 million tweets per day, how much of an impact can one of your tweets have?  I mean really.  27.3 million.. and you put out even 10 tweets a day, that’s like 0.000037% of the content on Twitter in a day.  And tweeting 10 times for many people is alot.  But what if you’ve got 301 people following you?  All of a sudden, your world is a whole lot smaller.  Hubspot says the average number of tweets per day per user is 4.422.  So if you’ve got a community following you of 301 people and we assume that they see the average number of tweets from the people that they follow, there are 1,331 tweets a day for them to read.  Now you’re 0.07% of what they see at 10 tweets a day.  It still doesn’t seem like a lot, does it?

I’m going to make some assumptions here based on my own behaviour on Twitter.  Let’s assume that out of the 400 people you follow, you actually only pay attention to about 20-30 people on a regular basis.  This happens in any crowd, you’ll naturally tend to draw a few people who pay more attention to you than the masses.  To the masses, your tweet probably isn’t that important.  But to the few who follow what you say more closely, your tweets are everything.  Knowing who these people are is important, it’s identifying your influencers, your torch carriers.  And if they don’t like what you say, I can bet you’ll lose them over time.  And online, that time can happen fairly quickly.

How important are your torch bearers?  I’m not sure.  That depends on you and your goals.  It depends on where you want to take yourself.  The influencers you have today may not be the correct ones.  If this is indeed the fact, spend some time changing your voice and your message.  Decide on who it is you want to build closer ties with and then talk like them, because if the internet has proven anything to us, it’s that like will always find like.

Take a good look at your objective with Twitter.  Is your purpose to self promote?  Is it to add value and share information?  How do you want to be seen?  Do you toot your own horn a lot?  Or are you more subtle and let your good work speak for itself?  Think a little bit about these things as your looking at your network and your tweeting habits.  In a world where all many people have to go on are the updates and information you share via platforms like Twitter… Are they helping you?  Or are they hindering you?

  1. Wendy,
    I like the post. You have made some assumptions here and used a little loose math, but it all helps to prove your point.

    I especially like your point about torch-bearers. In the Twitterverse, the more torch bearers you have, the more you’ll get noticed — i.e. more RTs, more followers, and MOST importantly more engagement. (I’m defining engagement here to mean an assortment of things that align with your objectives. Could be blog comments, book sales or speaking requests, depending on what you’re looking for.)

    Thanks for sharing. A great expansion on the expression “think before you tweet,” with practical advice on how to keep your tweets on task, so to speak.

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