Skip to main content


Long ago, Twitter was abuzz with people talking about The Twitter Secret. Only some knew it, and they weren't telling unless you followed them, paid them, etc. It turned out to be nothing more than a bug at that allowed sending Direct Messages longer than 140 characters. The hype was way better than the reality.

People are still looking for the real Twitter Secret - how to "succeed" on Twitter. Some say it is to get as many followers as possible and offer tools and tricks to enable this like HummingBird. Some say it is to make sure that the number of people following you is always equal to or greater than the number of people you are following. Some say it is about how influential your followers are, or what your grade is on one of the analysis tools.

The problem is that those aren't real measures of success. Those are metrics, but they have to map to real goals. If your goal is to talk to your customers, then having 5,000 people who don't care about your brand following you isn't valuable. If your goal is to have meaningful connections with people, then following 5,000 random people just pollutes your feed with noise and drowns out the very people you want to connect with. Aaron Brazell had an excellent article about how friendship on social media has become a quest to get friends rather than connect with friends.

I think the real Twitter Secret is to know why you are there in the first place and then to act accordingly. To have real goals and use metrics to support them, not just to focus on the numbers for the number's sake.

What do you think the Twitter Secret is?

Post by John Maver
April 03, 2009