For those of you who don’t know me (though you’re always free to email), within the past year I have been getting more and more involved in the internet marketing realm, specifically with selling information products online.
A close friend of mine initially introduced me to the internet marketer’s lifestyle and ever since I got a glimpse into this world I haven’t really turned back.
I mean look at the benefits, my “office” is anywhere with internet access, my target customers never sleep (worldwide), and I don’t have to sit in an office listening to people complain and plot their 25 year plan of escape all the live long day. Umm… where do I sign?
Now, almost 18 months after liftoff I am almost at the point of generating a full time income for myself and hopefully escaping the cube farm corporate zombies forever (my apologies to the zombies reading, no offense, it’s just not for me.)
As I am still on a learning curve into the business, I’ve found the best way to learn anything, is to try EVERYTHING. With so many social networking/marketing websites, tools, and software you never truly know what will help you reach your goals quicker and most effectively unless you try them all and stick with what works.
Throughout the past year I’ve experimented with sites like Hubpages, Squidoo, Xanga, Facebook Ads, Facebook Fan Pages, Ezine Articles, Adwords, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, GetResponse, BlogSuccess, and the list goes on and on and on…. and on.
This is a tiresome task that seemingly has no end, but if I ever get discouraged I just remind myself that I could be a meeting discussing quarterly reports, synergy, and team dynamics. Barf.
This tactic was especially relevant several months ago when I was introduced to Twitter.
My buddy, who is currently enjoying a lot of success selling his info. product online called me up and said, “Man, you HAVE to get on Twitter if you want to be successful in this business. It is going to be the next facebook.”
“Oooh the next Facebook!” I thought. How exciting! I’m in.
Trusting his advice I went and signed myself up for an account. This would be my big breakthrough.
I quickly became familiar with my twitterfeed, Tweet deck, MrTweet, Tweeting for dollars, Tweeterific, Tweet, Lose and Draw or whatever other silly services were out there and really went full steam ahead into Twitter.
I spent 3-4 weeks of cultivating a following of about 700 follower and was now spending at least 2 hours a day Tweeting(maybe more).
At the end of my testing period, I looked at my progress in regards to certain projects I was working on and everything was suffering. The new website I was currently building had fallen behind schedule, the online PPC class I was taking took a back seat, and I had been writing fewer posts on all the sites I was currently managing. Something wasn’t right.
The culprit: I was Twittering my life away.
I decided to look further into Twitter and study some of the fundamentals of the community that was, for whatever reason, throwing themselves onto this new Social Networking site like women onto Matthew McConaguey (i don’t care if I spelt that wrong ;p).
But speaking of McConaguey, it seemed as if the only people with a true community of faithful followers were Hollywood celebrities, Athletes, and TV personalities. Everyone else seemed to merely be following one another like lemmings en masse onto Twitter in hopes of… hell, who even knows.
A fury of marketing products quickly hit the online community as well (like Twitter Traffic Machine); All claiming to provide thousands and thousands of followers in no-time flat, generate millions of dollars and all the success you’ve seen in your blogging dreams (cue informercial with Don Lepre).
Those of us that are online chasing the dream seem to always be vying for the next big thing, whatever that may be. Yet as we chase the newest and “best” medium to get our message and/or product onto into as many screens as possible it seems many of us are forgoing the vetting process of how effective these new mediums actually are.
So today, I’d like to put myself on record, Twitter, as a whole is U-S-E-L-E-S-S.
That’s right kiddies, Useless.
Twitter may contribute to several new contacts and collaborators, maybe even a new cyber friend in which to compare WordPress Plugins, but overall, do you really think it’s an effective use of your time (aka. Your Life)?
Could your Tweet-time not be better spent on more productive activities? Like looking at the road while you’re driving perhaps? Or maybe, just maybe, actually paying attention to the President’s State of Union address? (ya, that’s right, I’m talking to you Senators.)
Even if you have 50,000 followers (which you likely don’t), are your followers converting into readers? Or buyers? Or clients? If they are, at what rate?
In my opinion, I think there are dozens of other ways to spend your Twitter time.
Yesterday I saw a condo company in Toronto that had a “Follow me on Twitter” button on their sales page. REALLY?
Maybe I am seriously off base here, but I don’t see how your once a day Twitter update to 85 people (likely employees) is supposed to generate the necessary traffic or cultivate a personal enough following to sell a $300k condo. Again, in my mind, this is not an effective use of this marketer’s time and/or resources. It’s just another way to look busy without actually doing anything productive.
So, I’ve happily quit Twitter, as has my good friend who touted it as “The next Facebook”. We both found our efforts are much better spent refining our content, learning more about Adwords, SEO, or even just getting further into a new book.
One my business partners, Dave, still uses my Twitter account to advertise new blog posts for www.TheFatLossAuthority.com/fat_loss_tips but unless I receive a genuine direct message I never log in.
I think as an online community, either as bloggers, marketers, or both, we ALL need to stop following one another into huge collective groups of mindless action, making popular what should have been killed during its beta testing.
When I look at Twitter I see nothing but the marriage of the trend follower and the Count Dracula of time Vampires.
Mark Twain said it best with, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” This is the case with most trends.
Unless Twitter changes its platform dramatically, then to me, that is all it will ever be, a useless trend; like a one big, ugly, cyber Von Dutch hat.
Just because everyone is wearing it, doesn’t make it cool.