A couple of years ago I signed up for a relatively unknown service. It allowed submission of personalised status-like messages to an audience of followers. The message I was allowed to post had to be fitted within a limit of 140 characters. I decided for myself that I will give it a try.
Several years later and I cannot imagine a day go by without spending at least an hour going through my twitter feed and interacting with the small community I have created there. The invaluable information and ability to get in touch with each user of the service are things I cannot do without. But it took me quite some time until I started utilising Twitter to it’s full potential. In fact, I know that there is still quite some way to go before I actually become a truly active and engaged user.
However, in the last six or seven months I started to use the service in the way that it is supposed to be used. I have increased the number of followers and people I am following. I have subscribed to authors who are constantly publishing relevant and up-to-date content on a regular basis, therefore, allowing me to stay on track with all the recent developments in my field of interest. And most important of all, I was able to engage into conversations with several professionals and have direct exchanges with them. This allowed me to increase my visibility within the professional world and further expand my professional network (something I hope will be extremely useful when I graduate and embark on the new journey called a “career”).
This did not happen overnight though! As I already mentioned above – it took me around two years until I really understood Twitter and made it work for me. Patience is a key factor when using Twitter. I know a lot of people who tried the service and simply because they didn’t give it enough time and attention they lost interest and stopped using it. I managed to convert a few people back to Twitter – now they are slowly, but surely beginning to reap the rewards. They realised that they need to have patience.
So, if you are one of those users who tried Twitter and lost interest and did not see the point in using it, I challenge you to try once again. Only this time, loaded with patience. And in a couple of months you will see how things will start falling into place for you and your Twitter personality.
PS: Here is a great infographic describing the stages through which most Twitter users go through before adopting the service completely. I found this great illustration on Allan Barr’s Blog.
Are you a Twitter user? Which stage do you think you are in?