Did anyone else think that a social platform of messages only 140 characters each wouldn’t make it? I did, but Twitter succeeded anyways, and it’s huge! Twitter was founded only five years ago, and has shown stunning growth. According to the Huffington Post, there are now one billion tweets each week, and, last year alone, the average number of tweets per day has nearly tripled from 50 million to 140 million. With all this usage and growth, there’s a startling amount of incoordination for Twitter profiles.
Instead of consolidating their Twitter presence to one profile, organizations and professionals worldwide have created multiple Twitter profiles, one for each service offering or topic. TwitTip, a site dedicated to helping users get more out of Twitter, says it’s OK to have multiple Twitter accounts, and social media management tools such as HootSuite have created guides for managing multiple Twitter profiles. Take a look at Amazon, one of the best resources examples for how to run an online business. Amazon has fourteen different Twitter profiles. Each has it’s own unique purpose, and Amazon does a great job managing each profile, but can we do better?
If you think about it, a Twitter feed is like a blog full of tiny posts, so how do we organize blogs? At first, the attitude was the more the merrier. Blogs were a way for people to write new, fresh content, insert ads on the side and make some quick money from AdSense. If you had the time and resources, writing multiple blogs would be multiple sources of potential income and bloggers leaned towards spreading their resources across multiple blogs. This was all before market saturation. I can say with some certainty that the blog market is quite saturated.
At this point, the way to succeed in blogging is high quality content on one blog per person/business/organization. A unified voice is just as important online as it is for offline, and blogs have started embrace this. Mashable is of the largest blogs on the internet and focuses on social media news. The Mashable website is one blog with several categories, so you can subscribe to the main feed and read news about social media, tech & gadgets, business & marketing, video, mobile, and more, or pick and choose which categories you want to subscribe to on an individual basis. Why doesn’t Twitter do the same thing with profiles? One profile, multiple feeds.
If you think about it from the individual perspective, most Twitter users are professionals who tweet about their industry and their personal life on the same profile. Some separate it out into two profiles, but why should that be necessary? I am Jordan Silton, and my profile @jsilton is all about me, personally and professionally. I post mostly about online marketing news and cool business insights, but I also message back and forth with friends and comment about Boston sports. If someone wants to follow my twitter feed to get all sorts of great industry news, shouldn’t they just be able to subscribe to that part of my feed? How about one of my close friends who has no interest in online marketing? Should they be able to subscribe to just the personal part of my Twitter feed?
At first, there was no efficient way to search through tweets, then someone started the #Hashtag. The #Hashtag allowed users to group tweets around a similar topic, and was created not by Twitter, but by an individual. Twitter may find a way to build individual profile categories into profile setup, but the greater Twitter community may be able find a way to do this itself. Let’s stop creating multiple Twitter profiles, and find a solution to create categories for tweets.