Absolutely. I’m pretty confident you read lots of newspapers, websites and Wikipedia pages in which you don’t make any contribution to the content. Or regularly check an RSS reader but don’t actually have (or update) your own blog. Why should Twitter be any different?
Each individual Twitter account has two information streams – the data that they send out, and the data that they receive. There’s a ton of value in the former (especially for brands), but the latter is more valuable still.
- News (big or small) breaks faster on Twitter than anywhere else
- Twitter Search allows you to receive real-time updates on any subject 24/7/365 (which you can review at your leisure)
- Even tapping into your network on an occasional basis (with specific questions and help queries) can reap significant reward
All you have to do is make sure you are following the right people. This is a relative term – what I mean is the right people for you. This doesn’t mean friends and family. It means clients, competitors, newspapers, blogs, brands and anything else that has an account on Twitter that complements your business or niche.
Keep it optimised and up-to-date, and that data stream is extremely valuable. If you do it all half-hearted and follow any and everybody, then you should expect that value to diminish accordingly.
Think signal over noise. Brace yourself for a couple of spectacular clichÃ©s – the more you put in the more you’ll get out, and on Twitter something really is better than nothing. Yes, like anything useful it takes work, but it can all be done in less than 30 minutes a day, ideally over 2-3 brief visits.
I’m busy, you’re busy, everybody is busy. You don’t have the time? Find it. Trust me: the payoff is worth giving up something else.