When you first get started using Twitter, it can be very confusing to figure out what you should do. Are you being a pest? Are you annoying people? Do you just not “get it”? One of the biggest problems for me personally was, I just didn’t know they proper etiquette. I didn’t know what was expected, or deemed normal.
This article will attempt to show you what’s normal, and expected. In this article we will use an NLP concept known as modeling to make sure we really “get it”. The way modeling works is, you find someone who is successful, someone that’s a “super star” and you apply Pareto’s 80-20 rule to find the 20% of work they do that gets the 80% of their results.
1 – Assemble A Swipe File of Users
A “Swipe File” is an old copy term, which is a collection or great ads or sales letters that you keep as reference or inspiration. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to select 5 really good “Pro Twitter” users.
To get the most out of this exercise, you also need to assemble a swipe file of 2-5 “Personal Twitter Users”. As these people do not have a high profile, I will not be sharing any here, but the point behind having 2-5 personal twitter users in your swipe file is so that you can see how “normal” people act on twitter.
These are people who use twitter to connect with friends, and family, as well as just to have conversations with the world. A problem most people have who start using Twitter is not knowing how to act. By combining “Pro Twitter” users with “Personal” you will be able to offer a more satisfying Twitter experience.
2 – Choose 5 Twitter Users To Model
You need to come up with 5 “star twitter users”. I selected the following 5 because:
- The Provide Value – They are not trying to get you to buy something, digg something up, or sign up for their lists.
- They Are Successful – Some help people reach success, some have achieved success, and others provide tools to make you successful.
- They Are Somewhat Famous – The reason this is important is because if they have time to tweet, so do you.
- They “Get It” – These people understand how to use Twitter, and as such are worth modeling.
Here are 5 pro twitter users you can follow now (or atleast keep track of).
Here are their twitter accounts, as well as a very brief bio explaining who they are.
@problogger – Darren Rowse, Author of the ProBlogger Site
@LeoLaporte – Leo Laporte, (you may remember him from TechTV)
@KevinRose – Founder of Digg
@tferriss – Tim Ferris – Author of “The 4 Hour Workweek”
@wilw – Wil Wheaton – Actor from Star Trek The Next Generation
You may wish to come up with a different list, based off your own needs or desires, but make sure the ones that you choose meet some of the criteria above. You do not want to model spammers, who spend half of their tweets promoting their own products. Choose people who provide value.
I also selected these users because I think their habits are easier to emulate, and anyone can do it. If I were to select some Twitter power users, such as @GuyKawaski who posts 50 tweets a day on average, with a CQ of 43.5% and LQ of 64.5%, it might be harder for you to emulate them, and you likely wouldn’t want to anyway.
3 – Analyze Their Stats At Twitter-Friends
Twitter-Friends is a great tool that lets you analyze your habits as well as the habits of others. For this exercise we will take these 5 users, and check out their stats on Twitter-Friends, and see what we can learn.
If you do not understand how to use Twitter-Friends, check out this article for more information.
What We Learn From @Problogger
- Posts an average of 24 tweets a day
- @replies 13 times a day (about 50%)
- Out of 24 tweets, 10 are links.
- CQ = 54.1% LQ = 42.4%
What We Learn From @LeoLaporte
- Posts about 4 times a day
- @replies about 1 and a half times a day
- Out of 4 tweets, 1 and a half are links
- CQ = 42.7% LQ = 37.3%
What We Learn From @kevinrose
- Posts about 7 and a half times a day
- @replies about 5 times a day
- Out of 7 tweets, about 2 and a half are links
- CQ = 65.6% LQ = 32.1%
What We Learn From @tferriss
- Posts about 2 times a day
- @replies about .3 times a day
- Out of 2 tweets, about 1 and a half are links
- CQ = 13.3% LQ = 70%
What We Learn From @wilw
- Posts about 10 and a half times a day
- @replies about 4 times a day
- Out of 10 tweets, about 2 are links
- CQ = 38.8% LQ = 18.9%
What We Learn From TwitterFriends Averages
Here are the averages from twitter, not from our 5 users.
- Average Tweets per Day per user 10.4
- @replies per day is 4.6
- Out of those 10.4 Tweets, 2.2 are links
- CQ = 44.1% LQ = 21.6% Leaving 34.3% to plain text
4 – Analyze Your Stats
Now that you know how “the pros” tweet, it’s time to see how you stand up.
Check out your:
- Average Tweets Per Day, @replies, your CQ% and LQ%.
- Ask yourself, how do you stack up against your list of stars, your list of personal tweeters, and the average.
- Is there anything you need to focus more on?
5 – Assemble A Twitter Template
Now that you know how often you should tweet, and what type of tweets you should tweet. The next step is to generate a “Tweet Template”.
What you do is select a few tweets, maybe 10-20 interesting tweets from each user on your list.
Then take those Tweets and break them down into their core components. Can you see any trends? And similarities?
For example here are 5 Tweets
Here are 2 samples from Darren @problogger. Consider these for use as posting updates.
@problogger wrote -> Reading: Simon and Garfunkel’s 10 Blogging Lessons – http://tinyurl.com/89nme4
Template – Reading: Title – Link
@problogger wrote -> New at ProBlogger: Add Social Proof to Your Blog With TweetBacks http://twurl.nl/djz7gx
Template – New post on my blog -> Title -> Link
Here are 2 samples from Kevin Rose @kevinrose. Consider these as a template for your social posts.
@kevinrose wrote -> Lunch then movie at home, relaxing weekend. http://twitpic.com/zeeb
Template – What I’m doing -> picture
@kevinrose wrote -> listening to a little ‘hot chip’ while reading the emails
Template – What I’m doing, no sell, no link.
Here is a tweet from Tim Ferriss @tferriss. Consider this as another template for when you post a link that is non-promotional.
@tferriss wrote -> Experimenting w/ various ways to start a fire in a fireplace. How about a Coke can + bar of chocolate? http://tr.im/2nor Your tips + tricks?
Template – Ask question? Offer potential answer (or title) -> link -> question?
To get the most out of this article try and implement these 5 steps.
1 – Create a list of 5 users who are in the same field as yours that you would like to model.
2 – Create a list of 5 personal users (or more) so you can see how they act and behave, feel free to analyze their stats as well.
3 – Visit Twitter-Friends.com and analyze the stats of those users.
4 – Analyze Yourself
5 – Form a few templates
After you complete these tasks, you will know where you stand up in the “twitterverse” as well as how you can improve your twitter experience.
By using the templates I provided (as well as coming up with your own), you too can easily come up with creative ways to tweet and provide value to your followers.