I am using Twitter more like an RSS feed these days. I pull the Tweets of the companies I track on once a day, and I scan/read them (when I have time), and either curate them or mark as read. I'm not happy with the Twitter algorithm, and I'm looking to get information straight from the horse's mouth, when I want, on my terms. I cringe at the fact I'm using Twitter as an RSS/Atom feed, but it is working well for me.
I'm seeing several benefits of this approach, but one of them is getting a feel for some of the common patterns around how API providers are putting Twitter to work. So far I am seeing some pretty distinct approaches emerge:
- Not At All: They have a Twitter account, but they rarely ever Tweet anything.
- Sharing Their Blog Posts: They only tweet out blog posts, and often do not have RSS/Atom for their blog (Grrrrrrrrr!).
- Sharing Other Blog Posts: Only use Twitter as a syndication engine for what they read in the space.
- Supporting Developers: Many Twitter accounts are just streams of support responses for the community.
- Communication: Using it to communicate with partners, and developers, engaging in conversation with their community.
Most of the API providers I monitor only operate in one or two of these areas, with only a few who are hitting in all of these areas. I'm going to start ranking the Twitter accounts of the APIs out there, and identify the ones who are doing it well. Then I will start showcasing more of them, as the leading accounts to emulate when API providers are trying to figure out their own rhythm.
I am not perfect when it comes to Twitter and delivering in all of these areas. Recently I've stepped away from being too conversational, and I mostly share my blog posts, and those of others, more than actually engaging in conversation. This is just my personality, and also reflects the brand I'm trying to evolve into over next five years of my operations--it is helping me scale things. I do not think there will be one formula that works across the board, but if we can identify what the healthy patterns are, I think API providers will have more to consider when crafting their own strategy, and finding their own voice.