The 5 stages of Twitter acceptance.

Originally published by Rohit Bhargava on his brilliant Influential Marketing Blog, I thought it was particularly useful to new users of Twitter whilst still appealing to the more frequent user. It essentially allows you to find out where you are at in the familiarity process of using Twitter. Still, when I tell friends and family about Twitter and how I think it’s fantastic, they look at me as if I’m from another planet.

They don’t get it. They are at Stage 1. That’s fair enough, it’s not for everyone, but it’s up to me to tell them what’s it all about and whether I think they would get any value from it. For some it just wouldn’t work, but for others it’s become a staple part of their online life who went from Stage 2 right through to Stage 5. There’s many out there like Guy Kawasaki for example who I’d say are at Stage 5 or even Stage 6 if there was one but choose to use it more as a promotional tool for his site That’s more of a Stage 3 activity. There’s no denying that Guy is a true inspiration and offers value with his blog posts and tweets but he’s used Twitter to build up an army of Alltop fans that help him spread the Alltop word by posting links to new categories and interesting stuff. Nothing wrong with that, power to the people!

Talking of all things Alltop, a great place for beginners to start would have to be Twitterati which features the top ‘tweeters’ across the globe. For example, Robert Scoble, Jason Calacanis, Chris Brogan, Leo Laporte, Chris Pirillo and Hugh MacLeod. Have a look and see how they do it, follow them, and get started!

So I bet you’re thinking Twitter is the new kid on the block, it’s a fad, it will all die down soon. It’s been around for a while, several years infact. Only now is it garnering mainstream attention. The Mirror picking up on Jonathan Ross’s presence on Twitter, or the Guardian’s coverage, or the Telegraph, you get the picture.

As the days go by, the numbers who are discovering Twitter is shooting up, it’s experiencing rapid growth YOY. A few stats.. everyone loves stats!

  • 70% of users joined in 2008.
  • 20% have joined in the last 60 days.
  • An estimated 5-10,000 new accounts are opening every day.
  • The average user has been on Twitter for 275 days.
  • 80% of users have a bio on their profile. (I personally don’t follow users without a bio)
  • 62% have a photo on their profile.
  • Traffic has grown 600% over the last 12 months.
  • Total user numbers are between 4-5m with approx 30% unengaged.

(Sources Hubspot and Compete)

It’s not there yet, but it’s getting towards reaching the tipping point. It has potential for business also, success stories are starting to emerge from well known brands who are establishing a presence and engaging with their audience. Perhaps most famously, Dell recently reported that they have made more than $1 million dollars through their DellOutlet Twitter account. It’s clear that there’s value to be had from many angles.

I use it myself as a way to 1) learn 2) converse 3) pass on any useful info or links i’ve found. It’s all about the community and sharing instead of finding a useful link and keeping it to yourself.

So what stage do you think you’re at from the 5 above? As a brand, do you have authentic 1 to 1 conversations without promoting a product or service? As an individual do you use it as an information resource or as a communications tool like Facebook or MSN?

My question to you, all of you, is How do you use Twitter?

Have a hugely enjoyable break, merry christmas and enjoy the new year.

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