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5 years on Twitter

5 years on Twitter


5 years ago this week I sent my very first Tweet.

5 years ago Twitter had 30 Million active monthly users; by the end of 2014 this had risen to 284 Million active monthly users. That’s a LOT of people - and a lot of noise to filter out.


From the very beginning I’ve created lists so that I can easily find accounts that Tweet great content and people I want to talk to. I sometimes amaze myself that I talk to complete strangers quite willingly.

My lists are generally private because I created them to organise who I follow. However I’ve recently noticed that there seems to be a new trend in the use of lists. Lately I’ve been notified that I’ve been added to a lot more lists than I have been previously. This is an additional way that you can be made aware of accounts that follow you so I can see why lists are being used this way.

I’m thinking of giving this a go but there are 2 things to bear in mind; 1, your list must be a public list and 2, be careful when you name your list. We all know the list is really “prospects” but it is probably better to think of a more subtle name for it!

Follow back

In my early days of using Twitter I used an application called “Social Oomph” set to follow back any account that followed me. I know, I know! I no longer have this set up and I am much more selective about who I follow. I investigate all accounts that follow me and if I can allocate them to one of my lists then I follow them back.

I would say that this has been one of the ways Twitter has changed in the 5 years that I have been using it. It used to be all about the number of your followers and it was much easier to collect a sizeable number when I started out. Now everyone seems to be much more selective about whom they follow. Can you really keep up with 10 000 people?


I’ve never really been a big user of hash tags. I have searches set up for subjects that I’m interested in and that seems to work. However I’ve recently been using them a lot more as I find that a Tweet with a hash tag gets a lot more engagement.

Of course Hashtags are the perhaps the most significant part of the twitter story. They were created in Twitter’s early days as a way of allowing people to follow a conversation. Since then their use has spread to other social media platforms.  It is this ability to follow conversations that has lead to most TV programmes and the odd radio programme creating a hashtag to allow viewers and listener to comment along with the programme.

Despite it being harder to be heard and to listen, my aim has stayed the same for the whole 5 years. I want to keep my name in people’s minds, drive traffic to my website and create business. The only way to do this is to be prepared to engage with people and to post regularly.


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