Am I flattered when someone with 21,000 Twitter fans follows me? Not necessarily. Scrolling a few seconds through the posts tells me whether that persons sings a one-note song: “Me-me-me-me-me-e-e, please RT me-e-e! Me-me-me-me–it’s all about me-e-e-e!”
My answer? “Forget you-ou-ou!” However, anyone who follows these Twitter basics grabs my attention and often my loyalty.
1 Two behaviors are essential to delivering content on Twitter: “pushing” and “pulling.” They are equally important.
Originating stories, photos, videos, reflections, event reminders, and links to websites is known in the industry as pushing. In effect, you draw in people. Pulling is the other half of the equation. You react to others by following their accounts; responding to their good news; sharing or retweeting their content; and replying or commenting. In effect, such actions represent the golden rule of online activity: do for others what they do for you. Authentically.
2 Enter into conversations already taking place on Twitter. For example, members of The Southern Coterie (or “The Southern C,” the online social resource for the entrepreneurial South) are all about The Three C’s: “connecting, collaborating, and creating.”
3 The Southern C champions online etiquette. Members seek out individuals in their line of business as well as those who simply have a passion for it. It’s not just about business. These entrepreneurs find the topics they love personally. They retweet. They thank new followers and compliment outstanding posts. Others engage in return.
4 Share fresh content. Some posts are goldmines—a wealth of tips worth a return visit. I post experts’ tips and tricks, which some followers appreciate. In turn, they share a mother lode. At the same time, my Twitter feed backlogs resources. For example, venerable HubSpot is a favorite go-to. When I first jumped into social media as a blogger in 2013, HubSpot’s post on insightful marketing insiders sent me to some of the best and brightest. Anne Handley, the Head of Content for Marketing Profs (@MarketingProfs), hit the top spot. No surprise. She already ranked as my Pulse leader on LinkedIn.
5 How is your Twitter account performing? Measure! Grab metrics by signing into your Twitter account on a desktop computer (not a mobile app). In a second browser window, type in http:www.analytics.twitter.com. The stats for the signed-in Twitter account will appear. In addition, Twitter provides even more information about your followers in the Follower tab, which includes 1) follower demographics and 2) overall growth of followers. You want a steady upward climb. A fast one tends to plunge.
6 Engagement is what matters—not a bunch of “likes.” Comments and, most of all, shares are the true treasure. In other words, value lies in people reacting to and then taking action on what they have seen. It’s a push-pull—the conversations started as well as those received. (It is tiring to see people who ask for nothing but retweets of their own content.)
Consistently follow colleagues and their active audience members. (Sporadic following is not effective.) They will enjoy seeing who you are and what you do. Their followers may become yours.
7 Remember: use tried-and-true hashtags—those already established on Twitter. Always check out the hashtags that are trending. If you make up a hashtag, you likely waste characters. Who will see it?
Bonus! Here’s a trick to speed up your proofreading online—wherever you land. Click on Grammarly for a free add-in that runs a grammar/spellcheck superior to that of Microsoft Word. Contextual spelling is part of the package. It will correct online bloopers, even your tweets and emails.Special thanks to the University of Delaware Professional & Continuing Studies/Social Media Marketing Strategy Certificate Program (2014)
Categories: Social Media Smarts
Soul deep storyteller, editor, writing coach, and social media human