I recently began tweeting. I’ve had a twitter account since 2009, but I’ve never been compelled to use it. My sudden foray into the twitterverse was prompted by the recent success of my typography video, which gained me about 300 new twitter followers. I figured that I should take advantage of these receptive, like-minded people and start tweeting my thoughts.
But I find twitter to be a bit confusing. It can be difficult to convey much useful information in 140 characters, and so much of what I see on twitter appears to be frivolous. I asked for the thoughts of Eleanor (twitter.com/theMadMarker) from the Aasman office, and she had an interesting perspective. She said that perusing through twitter is akin to walking down the street and bumping into people you know. You are mildly interested in what these people have to say, and you enjoy exchanging a few words with them and then moving on. The time commitment is negligible, and you don’t have to reveal anything about yourself in the encounter.
I like this metaphor, but I’m still trying to figure out where twitter fits into my online life. So far, I have tweeted a few comments about Yukon life, and a photograph of a font that I drew. They received a few favourites and retweets, which was moderately exciting, but I definitely need to improve my twitter technique.
I asked around, and compiled a few strategies for twitter excellence that I am going to try to implement. Here they are:
1. Tweet things of value:
To win new followers and keep your existing followers happy, give them interesting content that they actually benefit from. Some people use twitter as a form of diary, chronicling the minutia of their days, but tweets with real content stand a better chance of being noticed.
2. Time your tweets strategically:
According to recent studies of twitter activity, tweets written between 3 pm and 7 pm receive the most positive attention, with the peak at 4 pm. Take into consideration the habits of your target audience, and time your tweets for when they are online.
3. Include a link:
Text-only tweets can be effective, but it is easier to catch people’s interests with a link or photograph. Out of all retweets, 57% contain a link or photograph.
4. Tweet everyday:
Keeping your twitter account active wins followers and prevents people from unfollowing what could appear to be a dead account. (There is a bit of a numbers game that goes on with followers and following, where it is better to have more people following you than you are following. Because of this, people will often unfollow any account that isn’t constantly providing content).
5. Take advantage of hashtagging:
Twitter is a great way of getting up-to-the-second news stories, and hashtagging is what allows for this. Use relevant hashtags in your tweets and search for hashtags that interest you.
6. Reach out to people:
A great way to engage with the twittersphere is to start conversations with fellow tweeters. If you’re lucky, your conversation will pique the interest of others and it will turn into a public discussion.
I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the rich and mysterious world of twitter.
Whatever point you are at in your twitter career, I wish @you #greatsuccess.
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