You can have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and even a LinkedIn business profile, but there’s no point in running a social media campaign if it’s not designed to drive leads to your business. Learn more in the eBook. Download now!

The Purpose of Twitter


Jeffrey Levy commented on this blog in 2008 that his description of Twitter was a source of filtered, purified water out of a raging river.

I instantly smiled at the metaphor and began attributing him in my digital marketing courses. I tell my students that I compare LinkedIn to the Chamber of Commerce, Facebook to the cocktail party, Pinterest to the digital scrapbook, Tumblr to the photo collage, and Twitter to the river.

If you know the timezones of people following you and possess experience to know what questions inspire people to respond, you might get lucky.

Justin’s response caused me to pause.

Four years ago, that question would have elicited 3-4 times as many responses. But today, considering 1) the shelf life of a tweet is about 3 hours and 2) most people follow hundreds or thousands of people (Mireille follows 384, Lin follows 693, Justin follows 2,107, and John follows 2,613), you’re lucky if a tweet gets a response at all.

If your Twitter broadcast frequency is 50 or more times a day and you already have scores of followers, such as @CNN, you have nothing to worry about. But the moment @CNN stops tweeting, or drastically reduces its frequency, you may ask questions but you’ll quickly see other tweets in your river — and the river will keep flowing.

Lin, Mireille, Justin, and John replied to me because my tweet is what they saw in their rivers at a moment in time. They probably didn’t filter or purify me. They saw my tweet and decided to reply. My tweet could have been anyone’s tweet and their replies could have been anyone’s reply.

As 2012 turns into 2013, I find myself tweeting less. I’m slowly developing an e-book on my Twitter evolution over the years. I want to tell my story as much as I’m sure you want to read it.

Please continue reading The Purpose of Twitter and leave a comment if inspired.

When he's not blogging, Ari helps brands improve their digital media marketing. Got a question? Need help? Contact Ari today!


Join The Conversation

  • Kent Ong's picture
    Dec 30 Posted 2 years ago Kent Ong

    I do agree with you, Twitter changed a lot because a lot of people are using it and using it wrongly. That's why, when we use Twitter, we have to be smart. We need to have goals, plans and know how to communicate on Twitter.

    Marketing world is crowded as well, still there must be a way to stand out from other competitors, it depends on our creativity.

Upcoming Webinars


  • July 29, 2015
    Real-time marketing: you know it's a critical element in your business strategy, but are you finding it hard to master? You're not alone....
  • July 15, 2015
    Social has given brands and marketers a great new tool -- but it's a tool that can be as intimidating as it is powerful. At the top of t...