I’ve been on Twitter for a few years now. It’s my favourite social media platform, even if it is hard to keep up with sometimes. One of the things that I regularly see people say is that they don’t understand Twitter and are scared to get started. I agree that Twitter can be quite overwhelming to the uninitiated but once you break it down it can be a great tool for promoting your blog and networking with other bloggers.
Here are my dos and don’ts for getting the most out of Twitter. Of course these are all things that I have found out by trial and error and I’m by no means an expert.
Do follow real people. This is probably one of the most important things in getting the most out of Twitter and it’s networking capabilities. Have a look on your favourite blogs and find out their twitter handles, then give them a follow. You can also do a search and find users who talk about specific topics that you are interested in. If you only follow celebrities, or people with a high follower count vs a low follow count then all of the conversations you have are going to be one sided and you’re going to get frustrated really quickly.
Don’t use auto follow/unfollow. Auto follow picks people with certain parameters and follows them under the guise that it’s you, they also then unfollow anyone who isn’t following you back. I had one account do the follow/unfollow dance 4 times in a month. I ended up having to block the account. While her account wasn’t offensive in anyway, she just wasn’t the kind of account that I wanted to follow, something which an auto program is unable to determine.
Do create lists. When you first start out this may seem silly but believe me, when your follow count begins to get into the hundreds then you will wish you had done it sooner! Lists also make it easier to prioritise your reading if you have a limited time to spend on social media.
Don’t use automatic direct messages for new followers urging them to check out your product. I liken these to the shop assistant who asks if you need any help when you have half a foot in the door. They haven’t had time to look around, and chances are it will scare the follower off. I have also heard a few people say that they will unfollow someone after receiving one of these. Give your followers a chance to look around your profile at their own leisure and chances are if they followed you in the first place then they are already aware of your product/blog.
Do join in conversations. That is one of my favourite things about Twitter, there are always conversations going on, regardless of the time of day. If you feel that you have something to add to the conversation then please just jump in. I have gained new followers through doing that, as well as finding some awesome new tweeps to follow.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality through on Twitter. Another one of the things that I love about Twitter is that it really is just a micro way of blogging. It’s a place to say what’s on your mind. Eating a toasted sanga that is awesome? Tweet about it and no doubt there will be someone who replies.
Do join in with Twitter parties. Now these can seem really daunting for the new Twitter user but they really are a wealth of information and networking capabilities if you find parties that relate to your genre of blogging. The only difference with a twitter party and ‘normal’ twitter is that the tweets are grouped together using a hashtag (#). For example a party held in the bast by Brand Meets Blog has #BMBChat after every tweet. Clicking on the hashtag while in Twitter will show you all of the tweets that used that hashtag.
Don’t follow people because you feel like you ‘have’ to. I got caught in this trap early on and my feed ended up with a lot of chatter that I really wasn’t interested in. It’s not that the people where necessarily bad or anything like that, it was just that our interests didn’t align and that’s perfectly fine.
Do HAVE FUN. Twitter is supposed to be fun, even if it’s for a business. If you aren’t having fun with it anymore then you aren’t going to put in the effort anymore and of course you won’t see the results you want.
Are you on Twitter? Do you have any tips for people who are just starting out?