We’re running a quick poll over at TwtPoll today looking at the topic of ReTweets and whether asking for them has any impact upon whether people actually ReTweet things for you.
You can vote here:
I’d love to hear your comments on your answer. I know that some of you would change your answer based upon what the content that you’re being asked to retweet is – but I’d love to hear your gut reaction to the question in your vote but also in comments below.
Follow Me and Win a Prize – the Merit of Twitter Competitions – looking at the pros and cons of using contests to find followers on Twitter.
I’m sure others have written some great tutorials and tips on getting followers on Twitter – feel free to suggest them in comments below.
Let me finish however with a quick piece of advice – raw follower numbers are not everything. I personally would prefer to have 100 followers who shared my interests and who were interested in interaction than having 1000 unfocused and uninteractive followers. Twitter isn’t just a numbers game – sure having lots of followers has its advantages but don’t let your goals all be purely about getting as many followers as possible.
Today Shelley Binkley from Heal the Woman (follow her at @healthewoman shares how she uses TweetLater to grow blog readership and be more effective on Twitter.
Spending time on Twitter is like mingling through a crowded room, trying to participate in a hundred conversations at once. This can lead two two opposing states of mind, “Twitter High” and “Twitter Dysphoria”: What are these and how do you balance them and your Twittering habit to grow your blog readership?
Tweet with an Eye for Giving Other Tweeps Twitter High
Like any party Twitter is populated by interesting people and not-so-stimulating people who seem compelled to recount mundane details of their day. Fortunately Twitter is inhabited by thousands of Tweeple who like to Think Big and ponder and pose Big Questions. They throw their Big Ideas out into the Twitter Stream and see what kinds of answers bite. This can sometimes prompt a lively discussion and provide fodder for future Big Ideas.
Besides the potential for creating World Peace, the brilliance of Twitter is twofold: Unlike a cocktail party, or the office Christmas party, you can discuss topics you wouldn’t bring up with people you know “in person”. And you wouldn’t dream of going to the office party in your pajamas, but on Twitter the sky is the limit–whether it topics, attire, or lack thereof.
Lately I’ve been witnessing more and more competitions and prizes being offered by Twitter users as a way of increasing subscriber numbers. They usually go something like this:
Follow me on Twitter and you’ll go in the running to win “XXX INSERT PRIZE HERE XXX”.
Each time I see these competitions (and I’m asked to link up to them every 2nd day by those holding them so I see quite a few) I have mixed feelings. I’ll be honest (and I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes) but there are things about these types of competitions that both attract and repulse me. Let me explain (and hopefully in the process of writing this post I’ll actually work out what I think on the topic).
The Positives of Twitter Competitions
As someone looking to find followers a competition can and (in many cases that I’ve observed) does work. I watched with interest @shoemoney and his competition recently and he saw his follower numbers shoot up hundreds (it could be thousands now) almost overnight by offering some pretty cool prizes. If you’re just interested purely in raw numbers of followers then it’s probably a strategy to try.
The flow on impact of lots of followers has some positives to it – particularly if you’re promoting a site, product or service (or building profile). It’s also probably quite good for social proof and recruiting future followers (there’s nothing like having 10,000 followers to make you seem legitimate on Twitter.
Whether or not ReTweeting is the best way to measure the authority of Twitter users (and whether authority needs measuring at all on Twitter) is s conversation for another place and time – however since posts like the one above by TechCrunch there have been a number of ‘ReTweet’ tools and trackers developed. Here are a sample of them:
retweet radar – this tool describes itself as ‘Finding trends in the mountains of information ‘retweet’ed on Twitter.’ It puts together a retweet cloud of terms that are being retweeted, ranks most retweeted users of Twitter and ranks the links that are being retweeted.
Retweetist – similarly this service ranks the hottest links being retweeted and most retweeted people on Twitter.
Retweetrank – another tool that simply ranks the number of retweets twitter users have (not sure how up to date it is).
I’m sure there are others around – feel free to link to them in comments below.
Joining the conversation was guest Daniel Honigman, Social Media Strategy Coordinator, Tribune Interactive who is the brains behind Colonel Tribune…the voice of the Tribune in social media.
The conversation began to make me wonder, how you handle the inevitable inaccuracies that pretty much necessarily come with twitter’s time-warp speed, especially when you’re the voice of a major, mainstream media outlet.
So, I asked, and, his answer was essentially that they try to correct it pretty quickly, if something wasn’t right.
In TwttrStrm’s own words – this is a tool that helps you to “Ask a question of your Twitter followers and easily gather all their answers in one spot.”
The process is simple:
Once you’ve filled in the form you’re taken to a Twttrstrm page where you can tweet your question and create a Squidoo lens to host the conversation. On the lens your question or statement is of course asked but you can add an image, where information on your topic is shown, where your latest tweets are shown etc.
Seth Godin (founder of Squidoo) comments on Twttrstrm – “Here’s the magic part, as your followers click through and respond, the storm spreads to their followers. So, in short, it’s a threaded, viral, structured conversation in the middle of the Twitter melee.”
I’ve not fully had the opportunity to test Twttrstrm yet – but I think it has potential. One of the things that many of us on Twitter struggle with is being able to collect and make sense of replies to our questions – this takes a step in the right direction in meeting this need. I suspect it’ll be particularly helpful for those who already use Squidoo (as it’s very much reliant upon that site).
Have a play with TwttrStrm and let me know what you think in comments below.
PS: The only real feature I’d love twtpoll to add after my first impressions are the ability to embed the poll into another type of site (ie this blog). While I know this is a tool aimed at Twitter users it’d be great to be able to also run it on a blog or other type of website. update – they’ve just added this feature – nice!
Got an iPhone and want to know what apps are available for your to use it to get on Twitter? In this post Joe Meenen fromCute Machine(follow him at@cutemachine) explores your options.
If you searched through the App Store lately you should have noticed that there is a diverse selection of Twitter clients to choose from. That is no wonder, as the App Store now holds over 13,000 applications. Twitter clients come with different flavours and philosophies. To declare any one as the king of the iPhone twittersphere would be to presumptuous. Nevertheless, in the list below you might find the perfect tool for your Twitter needs. Here is every list item under 140 characters for better readability for us tweeples.
Twittelator – (Free) Good groups concept for viewing different timelines. Twittelator Pro (4,99) with many more features.
Summizer – (2,99) Advanced search capabilities. Configure search terms and then get the results in the future with just one tap.
Tweetie – (2,99) Huge feature set. Recommended by John Gruber from Daring Fireball fame.
Twitterrific – (Free) Ads on top of the timeline. Twitterrific Premium (7,99) with even more features. Very nice user interface.
“Twitter is a Waste of Time” – it is a criticism that has been leveled at Twitter many times over and while I’m one of Twitters biggest fans I’m also in agreement that Twitter can be a compete waste of time. I’ve wasted time on Twitter and I’ve seen many others do it. In fact recently when I asked my followers about the topic I found that most people could relate to the idea of wasting time on Twitter.
So how do you stop yourself from letting Twitter become a waste of time?
Below are a few of my own tips on the topic – interspersed with a few tips and comments from my own followers on Twitter.
1. Know Why You’re Using Twitter
If you don’t know why you’re using Twitter it is highly likely that you’ll either not use it beyond your first day or two or you’ll use it in such an unfocused way that you’ll end up wasting time with the medium.