Whether you think Twitter is a fad whose bubble is slowly deflating or still slowly increasing, the fact is you can't really afford to ignore it for the time being. Having a lot of Twitter followers is a bit like having a wheelbarrow full of Mickey Dollars. It's extremely valuable in one specific location, and utterly worthless everywhere else. It's bragging rights.
So what good is it and why should you care? Well, Brian Solis, the principal analyst at Altimeter Group – who "provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions – has done some deep-tissue work on a recent report released by Pew.
Twitter has grown in popularity over the years, an I doubt anyone would doubt that, but Pew has determined "that 20 percent of all Internet in the United States use Twitter in some capacity… half of them are Twitter fanatics, with eight percent of Internet users clock in at least some Twitter use every day… 18 to 24-year-old [use is] also pretty fanatical, with 1 in 5 18 to 24-year-olds reporting using Twitter on their mobile phones… and 15 percent reporting daily use of Twitter for mobile."
Anyway, the previous quote, as mentioned, is from the data provided from Pew. Solis goes several steps further and explains why, at least for the time being, Twitter ain't going anywhere:
"Over the years, Twitter has become a human seismograph measuring world events, popular culture, everyday sentiment, while providing a lens into every nuance that captivates our attention. What was once a Twitter paradox is now part of our digital culture. Everyday people who are connected to Twitter become the nodes and their shared experiences form one of the most efficient information networks in the world…At the end of 2011, we learned that over 100 million people were active on Twitter and that top top three counties, U.S., Brazil and Japan alone accounted for over 175 million daily Tweets."
So how can you use this to reach people on Twitter? Well, with some common sense. Think about your demographics and who you're trying to reach.
Knowing that, you should also use this tool I mentioned a while back, Tweriod. It's a service that gives you a very detailed report of your Twitter followers and when the ideal time is to tweet to reach them. Then you should use, in my opinion, anyway, Tweetdeck's scheduling function. It lets you, yes, schedule when tweets go out from your account. I'm sure there are other Twitter clients that can do that as well, but I've been using Tweetdeck for years now and it's the one I'm most familiar and comfortable with. So, don't feel like it's your only option.
What, did you really expect some sort of magic formula to tell you how to reach everyone on Twitter? No such thing exists, and even if it did, wouldn't everyone tweeting the same exact way just move the traffic jam to a different time of day?
No such luck, hotshot. There are no shortcuts. Do the work. Your success will be that much more fulfilling.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.