My 9-year-old thinks my tweets are boring. At dinner one night, Sam says to me, “Mama, your tweets are boring.”
Oh? (He did set himself up with a Twitter account a few weeks ago, but we have it locked down with so many settings to protect his tweets and vet his followers that he only has about four people total in his Twitter world.) Have you been reading my tweets, Sam?
“Yeah, you need to be funnier.”
Well, Sam, my tweets are mostly about business stuff, or directing people to my blogs or articles.”
“Yeah, I read a couple of your articles. Not good.”
Ouch. But Sam brings up a good point. Are any of the things we’re all so busy tweeting about useful to our followers? Or are most of our followers people who don’t really have any connection to or interest in our areas of expertise?
The accepted wisdom on Twitter has been to gain as many followers as possible, so you’re connecting with as many people as you can. But does it matter if they’re not the right people?
I understand the logic of having thousands of followers. Sure, when you’re sending your message out to that many people, the sheer numbers are on your side. But when we go for tonnage, we’re tweeting to a lot of people who aren’t our target.
I’m beginning to balk at that approach. If the beauty of online connections is that we are able to find the people in our Long Tail, as Chris Anderson would say, then where is the victory in reaching huge numbers of people who couldn’t care less? This whole social media thing is not about reaching the masses, but connecting with the people who share our particular and very narrow niche of interest. Or a common experience that is not common to the general population. Or our quirky sense of humor.
Sam’s tweets are usually either oddball observations or links to one of his homemade videos, most of which I do think are funny. So maybe I am his target. He’s just not mine.