There have been lots of negative comments in the press recently about Twitter and that’s a shame. What they don’t realise is Twitter is a not always a natural, instant thing; to get Twitter you need to hang around a little longer, pick up new followers and find people to follow. There are no set rules for how to use Twitter. If you want to Tweet about your every day tasks, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s fine. But if you really want to get the full benefit, then below are the things that work for me:
1. Tweet, often and honestly.
That doesn’t necessary mean you tell the truth it just means tweet things from the heart, things that you care about, things that amuse or entertain you or, if you must, things that will get a re-action.
Find people you like and follow them. It doesn’t have to be famous people, just ones that say things you can connect with. They might follow you back!
3. Don’t Tweet because you want more followers!
There are millions of Twitterers, they will follow you because they like what you say in 140 characters, not because you’re trying to sell yourself or other stuff.
4. Show people cool stuff.
Stupid photos, interesting links, things that make you smile or angry, music tracks (see blip.fm) and other peoples blogs!
Seen a Tweet you like? Make sure others know about it. That’s what makes the Twittersphere go round.
You don’t have to re-tweet everything, but letting people know you’re there and like what they say is always good, so hit reply. Don’t worry if they don’t answer back – it’s not about how they interact with you, but how you interact with them.
7. Block and move on
Don’t get sucked into a flame war. While it’s good to have people with different opinions on your follow list, there’s no need to put up with those you find offensive or annoying. That’s what blocks for.
8. Use hashtags (when necessary)
Hashtags are excellent for grouping comments together. Why is this important? It makes it easier to find items on similar themes; it also helps identify what are the most important issues on twitter (Trending topics).
And finally and most importantly:
9. Its not just about your blog.
When people follow me, I like to follow them back if, and only if, I like what they are tweeting. The number of times I’ve been to individual twitter pages to just find no other interaction, no re-tweets, no hashtags just a Tweets of “Hey, new post today!” Why would I want to read that?
I do, because of Twitter, read other people’s blogs when they post. Why? Because they interact, they communicate, they re-tweet, they hashtag; basically they get out there and are part of the community and I find what they have to say interesting.
In conclusion, Twitter is all about interaction. I only started to blog because of Twitter, I found I had more to say and 140 characters is not enough sometimes. I hope people read it, hey that’s surely the point of blogging, but that’s not why I Tweet. Yes it’s handy for letting people know I’ve blogged a new post (and it’s worth retweeting several times, such is the transitory nature of Twitter) but if that’s all it becomes about, then maybe Twitter isn’t for you.
Note: Have I missed anything? Let me know and follow me at @fatmanslimming