I made a big mistake. That mistake was unfollowing a large amount of people on Twitter, and not just because I lost a number of followers – that was expected. And as with many mistakes this one was done with the right intentions. However what I've come to realize is that I had the wrong solution to the right problem.
The problem is this: how to get value from a massive amount of tweets produced by a large number of people you follower.
When I say “value” what I mean is actionable information that from a business sense can help provide insight and/or direction.
Yes, having a lot of followers appears “good”, although I can easily debate large numbers could be meaningless if people don't take action (click, retweet, purchase) when you tweet. However I'm not here to argue that.
What I'm here to say is that I made a mistake, am reversing course, and going to work on applying technology to this problem.
In addition to ChecklistApp, Banyan Tree HQ and client work, I'll be firing up another project to mine insights from one's Twitter community. Here's why.
Twitter Trends Are Meaningless
As an entrepreneur using social media to build relationships with a specific group of people, the main Twitter trends are meaningless. Here's what I'm seeing today:
- Ash Wednesday
- Borderlands 2
- Marie Colvin
- Sweet Home Chicago
- Star Jones
- Kourtney Kardashian
Now I'm sure those trends are interesting to some, however not me and not (from a business perspective) my clients. What I need is a tool that tells me what's going on with my own Twitter community, not Twitter on the whole.
Twitter Search Doesn't Help
Twitter searches also don't do it for me. For anyone that's watched a stream of meaningless tweets come in while searching for keywords related to your business, you'll understand. If you've never done it, try it and let me know how it works out.
The Community Matters Most
When I follow people I wasn't simply hoping they would follow me back. Just like with RSS feeds, I subscribe to many because I want that information. You never know where your next inspirational idea or bit of truly helpful information will come from.
The more data you are colliding with the more likely serendipity is to occur.
More people, more data, greater likelihood of serendipity.
Current Tools That I've Found Don't Help
Currently in Twitter trends only apply at the higher level, in my case the worldwide, the United States, or a single state. None of today's trends (or just about any day for that matter) apply to my business or will help my customers in theirs.
I haven't found anything that provides insight into my own community. And while tools like Commun.it suggest people I should follow/unfollow, identify influencers and more, they still don't tell me what the people in my Twitter community are talking about in a way I can handle (meaning not reading thousands of tweets).
The Tool I Want
What I am looking for is a tool that will analyze all the tweets of the people I follow on Twitter (soon to be in the thousands again) and tell me what they're talking about.
What products are they talking about? What sites are they linking to? Are a group of people linking to the same sight? Do the people in that group have similar profile information?
Inquiring minds want to know!
If you know of a tool that exists today that does that please let me know in the comments, along with how much it costs to use.