I joined Twitter in 2009. When it first came out I was very active on the platform. Facebook had launched two years earlier, in 2004, but was still in its product lifecycle of largely being for university students. I had already been in the professional world for nearly ten years and was curious about the power of social networks, that’s what we called them back then, for business use.
There is probably a component of my personality that caused me to steer toward Twitter versus Facebook, even when Facebook became available for anyone. I’ve just never been one to put a ton of focus on building large personal networks. Even to this day I only have a small handful of people that I consider true friends. Everyone else is more of an acquaintance.
Recently I’ve felt myself drawn back towards Twitter for the same reasons I found it interesting those 13 years ago. I’ve always loved the ability to consume intelligent posts, on demand, that are concise in nature. In fact, I loved the original 140 character limit. Because it forced people to communicate in as little words as possible. Even at the current 280 character limit that is still true.
My return to Twitter has me convinced that it could be the best social platform for professionals. Even against platforms such as LinkedIn, which in my opinion has turned into a recruiting and political grandstanding platform.
Why Twitter could be the best social media platform for professionals
I firmly believe Elon Musk is going to improve the Twitter platform. And there are a few specific improvements I’m looking forward to, that I believe will make it the best platform for professionals.
- While I believe Elon believes in freedom of speech, I also believe he will push the Twitter team to reduce the amount of nastiness that is on the platform. Much like LinkedIn, you can spend too much time on Twitter without coming people that appear to “troll” other people. Usually that is reserved for the more well-known personalities. But, it also happens to the everyday professional. People should be allowed to say what they want. Within reason, meaning things such as hate speech and promoting the harm of others should not be allowed.
- You will know who you are talking to, i.e. there will be less bots on the platform. I’m excited to hear about how that plays out. Having less bots means that when you make a connection you can trust that it is a legitit
- By the way, less bot activity will also feed into improving marketing opportunities for advertisers. If you choose to advertise on the platform you should feel more comfortable that the audience you are targeting includes real people.
- Vines could be coming back. Vines were the original short-form video content. While I didn’t spend a ton of time watching Vines, I did enjoy them occasionally. Usually for a good laugh. If Vines do return I suspect and recommend that their timeframe be extended beyond six seconds.
Using Twitter to test out ideas or thoughts
One of my local business-friends, Mark Schaefer, has always recommend that being looking to build a social media presence focus on establishing themselves on one platform before they try to expand to others. If you are an author or thought-leader, Twitter legitimately could be the place for you.
At the very least, Twitter is a great platform to test out content on. Post a few tweets about something you are thinking about writing longer form content about and see if the thoughts resonate. If they do, that topic could be a good one for a deeper dive.
I'd love to connect with you on Twitter. You can find me at @jmillspatrick.