image by Jsome1
Do you twitter?
Unless you've been living in a hole, covered up by ten feet of concrete, you have probably heard about twitter. Some people say that twitter will replace blogging, though I'm not exactly sure how, certainly not in it's current state. As a blogger it's become an essential part of my online experience. I started twittering about a year ago. When I first started, it was very awkward. How do you say what you need to in 140 characters? How useful could anything be if it's that short?
I didn't get it. I sat there so badly wanting to tweet a sarcastic ‘insert witty comment here.' and leave it there for ages. But I started following people, and watching conversations evolve, I started paying attention to the tweets I liked, sometimes business, sometimes personal. It was then that I started figuring out how I could best use twitter.
Every post I publish, gets tweeted. Every blog development, anything that has to do with my blog goes into my twitter. Chances are people who are following me read my blog so I'm sure they would like to know when new posts are published. In the beginning this had a little effect on my traffic, now twitter… not yet in the top ten traffic sources, but it's getting closer every month.
Twitter is great for getting to know people, it's immediate. On blogs, we see posts written, edited and leaving comments is great, but sometimes there's no response and the conversation goes into space. Twitter is an open platform for conversation, you get to see what people are talking about throughtout the day and get to know them a little better, you get to see how they converse, which a lot of time it's not on the same topic as the blog they write.
I use twitter to develop relationships, I work at home, and it gets lonely (oh I know…sad) so twittering is a great way to catch up with people, kind of like going to the water cooler. It's a nice break. I also use it as a way for my readers to get to know a less formal, yes LESS formal, as if that's possible version of myself online. There I'll talk about things that I don't post on my blog that aren't always fashion related.
In the two years I've been blogging, being short of content was never a problem. Having too much to write about, that can be a problem. Often times I'll run across something that's good, I want to share it, but write a post about it? A whole post? Well, this is where twitter comes in. Twitter is great for sharing links to things I think are important, but not something I would ordinarily post about (because I like to delve in my posts). For example, on my blog I don't post sale announcements. That's a good place for twitter.
I've also been experimenting with affiliate links in my twitter, this I think should be done in moderation though… going overboard with it can get anyone unfollowed. I do it once a day from what I understand, people like my picks so it adds value to my twittering. Like with blogging, a good rule of thumb is to post only what adds value to your presence, whether it be on twitter or your blog.
It's hard to believe, but sometimes Google doesn't have the answer, and what other place can you ask a collective a question and get responses back? I've asked loads of questions on twitter and it really gets a conversation going, in my experience if it's out there, and someone will answer back.
When I mentioned that I tweeted interesting things I didn't want to post about, it's also true of other people. Maybe they tweet things they don't want to or have the time to post but it's irresistible content for me. Or if I'm looking for sales or wondering what people are tweeting, I'll use the search feature in my tweetdeck to find out what people are twittering about.
Most of all I like twitter because it's like hanging out and being social, only online. It's fun because it doesn't have to be so serious, it doesn't have to be perfect, and it's actually one of the parts I love about blogging.
Some handy tips…
Try to follow people who share your interests. Having 40,000 followers doesn't mean a thing if you don't have a shared interests. I'm getting loads more follows these past few months than ever. I don't always follow who follows me anymore (don't worry, if you're reading this blog chances are I'd love to follow you) there are people who probably have no interest in what I have to tweet about, namely 50 year old men CEO-SEO-video-game-experts who write self help books on how to get girlfriends. You think there aren't alot of them in this world, but yes… on twitter there are.
Here's a listing in the IFB forums of members' twitter accounts
We all like being talked to, not talked at. One of the biggest reasons why traditional media is failing right now is because it's a one way monologue. Humans are funny because we crave engagement, so be engaging, be conversational. Dont' just post your blog posts unless you are super popular and we'll just do anything you say. It's helpful if we can get to know you on twitter so then we'll be more happy to see what you are linking out to.
On auto DM…
How do you feel about it? The automatic generic message ‘Thanks for following, visit my website http…” I get the impression it's spammy and the person has no idea who I am or why they are following me, that or a freaky time management person. Either way, it's really impersonal.
It almost should go without saying, but I perfer human friends to robots. Yet, I see a lot of really impersonal twitter pages. Click on this link! Great deals here! Visit my website! Robots miss the point just telling us what to do instead of giving us a reason to want to.
And most of all, humans have more fun.
What are some of your twitter tips?
I'm sure I'm missing some here…