Today I got invited to a meeting where some of my colleagues were trying to map out their approach to using Twitter as a marketing tool for a spin-off venture they are re-launching. They had all seen Twitter and all have all setup their own accounts and understand about the 140 character limit, @replies and re-tweets. However, what was hard to explain was the difference between the logged in and public views of Twitter.
You see, if you look at somebody’s Twitter account publicly, you only see their tweets, not their @replies and certainly not the updates of those they are following. But, if you are logged into your own account, you obviously see your update, your replies plus the updates from all of those you are following. And as this is the view most people see once they are in the Twitterverse, it can be hard to describe the difference to those that are new to this world.
Given that the Twitter account they were discussing is for a venture, meaning that my colleagues would only be logging in when creating tweets, it then begs the question of who this account should follow. Being a venture, following those legitimate users who follow them seems to make sense. It makes less sense, however, to follow experts in their domain, given that nobody will actually be looking at the follower stream. Furthermore, Twitter only supports one user being logged in as a time (it was never really designed for teams to be tweeting).
The best they can do now is start to use their personal twitter accounts more and get used to the way Twitter works. The rest will then make sense.