The State of Twitter: Part 1

By | April 7, 2009


On January 3rd of 2008, I wrote a blog post entitled: Stop Twittering and Focus on Your Business

Well, I’m not issuing an official retraction of my stance on twitter… YET. But that day might be coming soon.

In the 16 months since I wrote that post, twitter has grown at a rapid pace, and has emerged to the forefront of the Internet’s attention.

While the principles of business building have not changed in that time period, twitter’s value as a business tool certainly has increased.

Take a look at the following chart from

twitter traffic chart

As you can see, twitter’s traffic has more than tripled in the past few months, and nearly doubled in the past month alone!

Within the past couple of weeks, twitter has reached a new point of critical mass. It was already hot, but now it’s the hottest thing on the web. It’s all over the news, it’s all over the blogosphere, and everyone’s talking about it.

Rats. I can no longer ignore it ๐Ÿ˜‰

I make no apologies for not being an early adopter. There have been countless web 2.0 social networking sites launched in recent years (many of which are still bigger than twitter), and we’ve seen many of them fizzle.

I don’t want to waste my time on here-today-gone-tomorrow tactics, when I can focus on tried and true business building principles (at least as tried and true as you can get for the Internet).

But there comes a point when you have to adapt. You have to be flexible. You have to accept new technologies into your existing business structure.

When commerce started moving online, I’m sure there were plenty of old school businesses who said… we don’t need the Internet. We can keep doing things the way we’ve always done them. And those are the companies that are dying today.

The inability to adapt will cause you to be left in the dust… particularly in the online world.

Is that the case with twitter?

I don’t know yet. I’m not yet convinced, but it’s becoming more compelling by the day.

I’ve got some specific reasons why I think twitter is here to stay, and other reasons why I still think it’s totally overrated. But I’m going to save those thoughts for part 2 of this article. First I want to find out what YOU think…

I’ve set up a twitter survey to discover some current uses of and attitudes regarding twitter. This is for twitter users AND non-users.

To take the survey please go to:

Eric’s twitter survey

You will receive a special gift just for participating in the survey. I will reveal ALL of the results in part 2 of this article here on my blog next week.

In the mean time, I’ve set up my first twitter account so I can start following and being followed ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, IF twitter IS going to be a long lasting business tool… it’s certainly not too late to join the game.

On December 16, 2007 (just a couple weeks before I made my “Stop Twittering” post), my friend Joel Comm made his first post about twitter on his blog. He announced that he had joined twitter, although he also said “I’m still not sure what the point is of Twitter… I’m not sure I get it.” The post went by with no fanfare, and even today it has zero comments (LOL, sorry Joel).

But he took a risk on it, and within a year he was writing the first mainstream book about twitter (Twitter Power), which went on to become a best-seller, and today he is one of the most sought-after twitter experts in the world. He has over 40,000 followers, and he’s adding about 1,000 per DAY at the moment.

And all of that happened just in the past year. If twitter continues to follow its upward curve of growth, the NEXT year will be much bigger than the last year, which means there’s still plenty of time to grow your own following as twitter grows.

What are your thoughts about twitter? Please take my survey and then leave your comments here on my blog.

Have a great day!

181 thoughts on “The State of Twitter: Part 1

  1. Eric Post author

    I’m not familiar with flock, but I imagine that would be VERY distracting!

  2. Eric Post author

    I definitely see your point… but that’s part of why I still feel spiteful toward twitter… I feel like I’ve been “forced” into it.

  3. Eric Post author

    Haha! I tried to keep my own feelings out of the survey, otherwise that would have been a choice. but as you can see from others’ comments I did probably slant the answer choices, albeit unintentional.

  4. Eric Post author

    hehe… it’s tempting… I could hire some folks overseas to build twitter accounts…

  5. Eric Post author

    I agree it seems like a popularity contest in many ways. Good marketers will tell you it’s about the quality and not the quantity of your followers, but I doubt there are many marketers who are able to totally separate their egos from their twitter accounts. Personally, I’ve just joined and I already feel this “competitive” spirit nagging me… urging me to catch up to my marketing peers. I don’t like it.

  6. Eric Post author

    I was wondering the same thing. I think it’s still about “what are you doing”, but its evolved into a lot more.

  7. Eric Post author

    Good point, and duly noted.

    I had to look up the term grok, LOL. And you’re probably right. That’s part of why I’ve joined and getting involved in twitter… so that I can speak from the perpective of the group experience rather than as an outsider looking in.

    At the same time, it seems like there’s a faction of twitterers who have drawn a line between those who “get it” and those who don’t.

    But I’m suspicious that there’s really nothing to “get”. Twitter is what it is, but the inner clique likes to think that they’ve transcended to a higher way of thinking.

    I don’t know, LOL…

  8. Diana and Dube

    We’ll join Twitter this weekend and will share our experience. Any tips are very welcome.

  9. Eric Post author

    I tend to agree with your approach. But you have to admit… that takes a lot of time, right? So now it becomes a matter of ROI. And the question is whether twitter provides a good ROI for your investment of time. And my initial guess is that depends on the individual amnd their business situation.

  10. Eric Post author

    Looks like flutter is just a spoof. Too bad… I was thinking I could jump in now and become the first flutter guru, LOL

  11. Eric Post author

    I’ve heard a few stories… hopefully I’ll have some good info for part 2 of this article.

  12. Eric Post author

    Exactly… it’s to the point you can’t ignore it.

    No I’ve used a few others. They work, but it’s just not my favorite way to get traffic because it takes work ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Eric Post author

    “a drunken party and you are the only one sober.”

    LOL… that is what it feel like if you look at someone’s twitter page (timeline). Because it’s multiple conversations but you only see one side of it. Now that I’ve joined, I’ve discovered that the twitterer does see the conversation more clearly. But still I see your point.

  14. Jerrold Foutz

    Your survey missed the main reason I like and use twitter. About 75% of the people I follow provide up-to-date valuable links to information I find useful for my websites. This is information I otherwise would have probably missed. The people I follow find and pre-screen information valuable to me without wasting my time with excessive twitters. I need to do more of this myself in my twitters.

  15. Eric Post author

    Haha… as I was writing the survey I knew there would be people who felt that way. But I didn’t put “none of the above” because I knew too many people would choose it because it’s easier than answering the question. I’ll try harder next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Eric Post author

    Thanks for the tips.

    Yeah I thought about putting an opt-in form on the thank-you page, but I figured I’d get more people to RT it if it didn’t look like an opt-in ploy. Tough call.


  17. lee

    Not on Twitter yet, but all my marketing subscriptions tell me to do so to build up an email list this way. Otherwise I see no need for it. I do not have the time to keep track of it, unless I am missing something.

  18. Jason

    Just started with twitter and I think it can lead you both ways. You either waste your time twittering nonsense updates on other peoples’ lives or use it as a marketing tool to help your business.

  19. Bounama Diallo

    Hi Eric
    I am using Twitter for a while now.
    I see it’s becoming a real thing to
    consider using, among others things.
    When i post a tweet, i get replies
    on my blog pretty quick compared to
    other social sites. It’s the second
    after stumble upon for me based on
    visibility and results

  20. GG

    Hi Eric,
    I don’t use Twitter.
    Having said that, I don’t have an online business, and am still not sure how to start. I don’t have a lot of time or $ to invest, but if I can find a way to become profitable I’d be very willing to re-invest to build this business.
    I have been looking for awhile for an internet business coach, and at this moment you’re looking like the best to me!

  21. Sara

    Hi Eric, I took the survey even though I haven’t used Twitter very long. I’m helping a friend who wrote a book and has no clue how to market it (not that I’m a pro myself!). I had been reading how Twitter was the one place to promote a product or business. I found an auto-follow tool and now there are a bunch of followers. I haven’t had the time to keep it up for my friend so I don’t know if this is going to work. It’s very time consuming to read everything. Plus I have no idea where to get those icon links I see everywhere now where people can click to follow you. I would put one on the web site just to try it. I think if this works, I’ll be glad I did it. If not, well, chalk it up to experience! ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Travis Campbell


    Your hesitation is warranted, it can be very distracting, that is why a strategy is needed in order to use it for business. Even with a strategy, you still need to execute the strategy. Thanks for taking time to bring this up, and I look forward to your survey results. Been using twitter for a few months, 8% of my traffic in the last 30 days came from twitter.

  23. Mike

    Hi Eric,
    I feel that social media is a good way to be able to draw traffic to your opportunity if you can offer valuable content through that site. But most people seem to use this in a more spamming way by promoting their products and business at every chance they get.
    The only reason I haven’t pursued twitter is because social media takes a fair amount of time and all though I could offer valuable information I’m too busy trying to figure out how to create a web site and I’m hoping that you are my source to this answer because most of this doesn’t matter until I can create a customized web site with a capture page, thank you page, and probably a blog as part of that whole system. There are a lot of experts that offer good information on how to do x y and z but very little complete information on how to get you to that point so I would like to thank you for this fantastic course and hopefully it will solve most of my problems. Maybe then I can take advantage of Twitter.

  24. Mike

    Hi Eric after submitting my twitter survey I then click on a link to post a comment after that I couldn’t get back to get my 6 e-books. If you would send me a link I would Appreciate it Thanks Mike

  25. Eric Post author

    8%… that’s pretty significant. And thanks for signing me up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Teres

    Nice Job Eric! The survey brings you to light. It reminded me that I wanted to join twitter; I’ve only recently found out about it from the news in Seattle. I have businesses to promote. Figured it’d be a useful place to be. And you accomplished what you probably wanted. I am now aware you exist. I will check back to see your blog and read a bunch of stuff. Good Marketing, man! Enjoy: Teres

  27. Sue McShan

    Don’t know a lot about Twitter, but this is what I do know. It’s growing very fast and probably will catch up with MySpace and Facebook and the others very quickly. It started off late first of all & that’s why I think it is less in numbers, but the fact that one can only write a hundred forty characters is a great plus. It’s like all of the social media in that it started out for the teens and graduated to the older folks. Twitter is no different. However the redeeming factor for Twitter is that it will become a way for all, and I do mean all, family members to stay in touch more closely. For instance folks will write that “Cathy got her first tooth” or “Eric took his first step” etc. That isn’t something that folks write letters about or even call about BUT will use Twitter for with its one hundred forty word capabilities.” That’s the way I see it… Hope I’m right.

  28. Jet Santana

    Hi Eric, first of all I just want to say thank you for the video lessons which I’m following. About Tweeter, I’m very new to it, so I can’t really give any definite opinions yet about it’s purpose. I recently found out how Social Networks can get my website to be ranked No.1 by Googles, and having followers in Tweeter may also have helped me to remain at the Top position for a month now. However, I read an article from WebProNews recently, stating that ‘Social Traffic’ do NOT buy anything.. and I have to agree with that.!!! I’m looking forward to my 700 web Traffic tactics from you in just a moment. Greetings from Malaysia.

  29. Dez Futak

    Great idea Eric! I’m using it as one of the main ways to connect with other enterpeneurs…hopefully to launch some JV’s at some point.


  30. Mary

    Hi Eric,

    I think Twitter is a great tool as long as you don’t get so caught up in it that you allow it to eat into your productive work hours. I think if you let it, it could really become a distraction from working your business.

  31. Mike-e

    Well, I see someone else already directed you to my twitter…strange. I think the strategy you want is to just bide your time with twitter, then when you are randomly caught up in some EPIC world changing event, you can be the one CNN relies on to get updates.

  32. mohd ariff

    Hi Eric,
    We do know about twitter & heard they are promoting to website business. Is it possible that members will get paid.

    How are they going to pay the mil members & whats their motive towards this Network.

    We believe that you could answers these for us.

    Thanks for your great sharings & we do get knowledges that we need.

  33. Grandpa Bill

    Next Time put a check box “other” and a one line
    comment box.
    As it is now your results data is flawed as we
    had to pick ‘your’ answers not our true answers.

  34. Guy Thompson

    Hi Eric

    I shared your inital reservations about Twitter, and it is certainly time-consuming to track. All the IM members drown each other out and I haven’t seen any benefit to me in that area. But a few focussed twitters have spotted my multiple sclerosis site and tweets and I have some good connections as a result.

    One account per niche might be useful, though I am not sure of the implications.

  35. Tyrone

    Hey Eric,

    I had signed up for Twitter awhile back, but I haven’t been using it like I know I should – (I,like so many have been fighting it (change that is)). I think I will start to use Twitter in the near future.
    Thanks for your article.
    I got an error “one submission” message once I completed the survey and I didn’t get the special gift for participating in the survey.


  36. Eric Post author

    I would not say the data is flawed, it’s just not as deep and telling as it could be. I did use language like “which statement do you agree with most strongly”… So even if you didn’t agree with any of the choices, you most likely chose certain answers because there were other answers that you disagreed with more strongly. When we analyze the data we will be looking at percentages and averages, not individual answers. And I think the data set will be large enough to tell a story.

    But of course it could have been done better… I’m sure I’ll learn some things to improve for my next survey.


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