This is the latest in a series of interviews with a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.
It’s not often that you get someone of Darren Rowse’s status on your blog and so today I will be celebrating with some fine belgian beers. It just so happens I’m in Belgium today :) Darren’s alias is ProBlogger, quite fitting as he is one of the most highly regarded professional bloggers in the blogosphere! Even though he is extremely busy and has enough on his plate with various sites including TwitTip, he spared me some time to talk about Twitter. Thanks Darren!
I doubt we’ll be doing it in the same form that we do today. As we’ve seen blogging evolve from the early days we’ll probably see social messaging evolve too. Where it ends up I’m not sure anyone really knows!
I’ve found that trust only really comes with time online – whether it be on a blog or a social networking site. If a Twitter account provides value and proves to be useful to people consistently over time I think it’ll gain trust and profile – no matter who is behind it. I think the key is consistency, transparency (ie don’t say it is the CEO if it is not) and usefulness.
I’m not so sure, in fact Twitter has opened up social opportunities for me and given me plenty of chances to have face to face and engaging interactions. I guess some people’s personalities might be the type that would use Twitter to hide away from real life social interaction but if it wasn’t Twitter they’d probably do it with something else. The majority of us are having our eyes opened up to all kinds of new and interesting social interactions as a result of the tool.
You run TwitTip.com (which I love by the way), what would your number one tip be for people wanting to get the most out of Twitter?
I think the key thing is to be useful, add value and to ‘give’ to your network. The more I put into Twitter the more that comes back to me. Those that I see consistently ‘taking’ from or ‘using’ Twitter tend to become ostracized by the wider Twitter community.
I didn’t realize the power of the ReTweet until I started using TweetDeck. Previously I was using Twitter.com to monitor replies but this meant I was only seeing replies that started with @problogger (and not messages that started with any other word). When I started using TweetDeck I began to see all tweets that others did with a mention of @problogger. This included many many ‘retweets’ – hundreds of them every week.
When I saw this I began to see their power and ability to spread a link virally among the community. It is no wonder that Twitter is one of the larger referrers of traffic to my blogs now – retweets can be very powerful.
Twitter has both opened up a new audience and deepened my brand and engagement with my existing audience. There’s no doubt that people have discovered my blogs for the first time through Twitter – however what I think is more powerful is the way that Twitter has allowed me to ‘rub shoulders’ with those that had at least some awareness of me previously. There’s something quite powerful about someone seeing what you’re up to, working on and thinking every day over an extended period of time.
I think 2009 is going to be an interesting year for Twitter – particularly as it explores its business model. I hope that it won’t change the nature of how people use it but do worry a little that it’ll become more and more overtly commercial and in doing so become more noisy, more spammy and less personal.
Having said that – I guess Twitter is only ever as good as the people who use it and so we as the Twitter community have the ability to really control much of how it is used.
I can’t thank you enough for this advice Darren and for taking the time to help me out with this blog post. I really appreciate it!
Almost 25,000 people currently follow ProBlogger on Twitter, I’m one of them and I would suggest you guys should be checking out ProBlogger.net and Darren’s tweets for some high quality info on social media, blogging and a peek behind the scenes of a highly successful blogger. :)
Tomorrow – Brian Chappell
Organic SEO expert, Brian Chappell, will be joining us tomorrow for some more Twitter chat. Looking forward to it! Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS Feed to be kept updated on all the exciting goings on at I Am Paddy.