Twitter is For Followers, Stupid

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 03/17/2009

I debate the need for Twitter when the Facebook status updates actually make your Facebook profile update in real-time, while the Twitter updates have to be “integrated” in with apps like FriendFeed or TwitterFeed.

What non-technical person is going to do that–only just to have updates that are SLOWER than status updates?

Well, the answer is that I spontaneously get followers with Twitter that are not necessarily Facebook-style “friends”. And getting those followers is the mouth of the audience funnel. I’ll illustrate that concept sometime soon, but as online personal brands, we’re creating a personal sphere of influence for which blogging and search engines used to be the best and only mouth of the audience aquisition funnel.

Today, for whatever reason, it’s Twitter.

You simply aquire followers with Twitter much faster and more clearly than with search engine optimization alone. There is an additional “event” you need to do to know that you “got ‘em.” And that official event has never really been formalized. There’s email subscribing to your blog–but where’s that officially built-in on the major blogging platforms? It’s not. There’s blogroles, but you need one to have one. There’s RSS subscription, but how anonymous is that–and who uses RSS readers other than me anyway?

Twitter has filled this void very well. With one click, you follow-them–and there’s no real committment to do a lot of blog reading, because of the 144 character limit. How cool is that? Good work, Biz Stone. This is one of those difficult-to-articulate needs that was always there, just waiting to be revealed by an inventor who could see what others could not.

So, Twitter is the mouth of the audience aquistion funnel, while Facebook status updates are for those who are already known audience (ones that haven’t filtered you out with the [X] yet).

So, I’m going ot keep using Twitter as an audience aquisition mechanism, but thanks to FriendFeed, I’m going to be indiscriminate about what “device” I use to push out the Tweet. Sometimes, it will be Google Notes with comments. Sometimes it will be a Facebook status update. Sometimes it will be shared news items from Google Reader or NewsGator (both of which I use–long story and subject of a later post).