Five of the Biggest Misconceptions about Twitter

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Out of all the sites I use on a regular basis, Twitter has had the most significant effect on me, my attention span and my outlook on people in general.

While Twitter has definitely grown up from the early days in which only the geeks used it, you will still hear the occasional “I don’t get it” or “Why would anyone follow me?”

The truth is, it is difficult to explain the appeal of the micro blogging service in words—you need to experience it first hand—but we are all familiar with the stories of revolutions sparked by Twitter. In other words, even if you are not an active Twitter use (twitterer?), by now you realize this platform is here to stay.

So what are some of the common misconceptions non-active Twitter users have about the platform? Good question, thought you’d never ask.

5 Just Another Facebook:

Twitter is not Facebook and Facebook is not Twitter. Both have many advantages and disadvantages and more importantly, they are not mutually exclusive. You can use both for very different reasons and enjoy the benefits of each. In fact, I am of the opinion that if you are posting the same things on Twitter and Facebook using some automation tool, you are doing it wrong. Which raises the question, can you really do this stuff “wrong”? A discussion for another time…

4 Twitter = Self-Promotional Tool:

You have a product to sell—I get it, we all do—but if you plan on plugging yourself day in and day out on Twitter, well, there’s not a very good chance of you’ll build yourself a real audience. In other words, people don’t like people who only talk about themselves. Offer value, provide content, and a little self promotion won’t kill anyone.

3 Justin Bieber Will Respond to Me:

No, he will not and neither will 99 percent of the other celebrities who tweet regularly. Sorry to burst your bubble but if you are tweeting to get yourself some Bieber love, just close down your Twitter account now. No, really, do it.

2 Magic:

The opposite of the point above, there are those that believe that Twitter will perform some sort of magic and will take your non-revenue-generating failure of a business and turn it into a multi-billion dollar corporation overnight, all you have to do is write that you are a “social media guru” in your bio and retweet a few people. OK, so no, it doesn’t work like that. Twitter is no different than any other platform you use to achieve your goals in that the faster you go up the faster you’ll come down. Build up a serious and engaged audience over time and they will remain so, for that much longer. The money? Well, that’s a topic for another time but suffice to say “If you build it, they will come!”

1 Pointless and a Waste of Time:

This is the most common misconception about Twitter. If you ask someone why they don’t tweet, nine out of ten times, the answer will be “I don’t feel a need to tell everyone what I am eating or when I am going to the bathroom.” And to those people, my answer is always the same. “You, my friend, are an idiot.” No, I am kidding, but in all seriousness, Twitter has been involved in some world-changing events, such as elections and revolutions, and has been used to communicate at times when all other forms of communication were unavailable. If you think Twitter is about sharing insignificant information day and night, you’re simply not following the right people.

Hillel Fuld is Senior Evangelist at inner-active.com, a leading player in the mobile app monetization space. In addition, Hillel contributes to various leading online publications including The Huffington Post, Mashable, Gigaom, Business Insider and more. You can find him on Twitter as @Hilzfuld.

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