Thursday, February 28, 2013

9 Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy

So you’ve jumped into Twitter finally (or maybe you’ve been there for a while) and now you’re wondering: What should my Twitter strategy be?
Consider a Twitter strategy; social media
Consider a Twitter strategy

First, ask yourself what are your goals: To learn? To share? To meet people? To sell?

All, but that last one, are easily done on Twitter. Perhaps the best strategy is to work towards a combination of learning, sharing and meeting. But how do you do that? I'm glad you asked.

9 Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy

1. Pick who you follow carefully: The quality of what you read and what you can learn from Twitter is directly related to the quality of the Twitter accounts you follow. Resist the temptation to follow just anyone back. Sit on your hands when a totally irrelevant, but seemingly influential, account starts following you. You control your incoming stream – make that stream useful.

2. Organize who you follow: Start lists around topics you care about. Use tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to keep track of multiple areas of interest.

3. Block irrelevant and spammy accounts: The temptation is to leave well-enough-alone and ignore the irrelevant accounts that follow you, but you will be judged by the accounts that follow you. Allowing even a few irrelevant accounts means others considering following you may change their minds.

4. Retweet (RT) people you hope to build relationships with: Pay special attention to just a few people who share good stuff and retweet them a few times. Add your “5 cents worth” too if you have the character count to do this.  

5. Find a few new people to follow: Look into the Twitter streams of people you respect and see who they are retweeting and talking to. It is more likely you’ll find relevant people this way. If you have the time use Twitter’s Advanced Search function and find people near where you live who might be tweeting about things you care about.

6. Share just a few things you’ve found on the web: If you share good content others will pass it along and you will get noticed. How do you increase your chances of this? Use relevant hashtags.

7. 'Favorite' content from others: Each time you favorite someone else’s tweet they get a notification. What better way to get your name in front of someone?

8. Learn the Twitter lingo: The network has its own useful Twitter Glossary, but more importantly pay attention to how others are using Twitter.

9. Be patient: This is the hardest part for most people. However, the advantage of growing an account packed with genuine people who share real content and exist as an online community is invaluable. This kind of community will be there for you when you need them.

If this last point upsets or annoys you perhaps Twitter is not the platform for you. And … this is just a beginning or "Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy."

So what do you think? What else can someone getting serious about Twitter do to build a following and get more from the network?

Related posts:
11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter
6 Reasons to Finally Join Twitter
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
Twidiots and Twools and Other Twitter Types

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Twidiots and Twools and Other Twitter Types

Avoid being a Twitter Dunce and
stay away from  these 8 Tweeps
As Twitter basks in the glory of being the fastest growing social platform in the world chances are there are lot of new "Tweeps" on Twitter.

If you’re at all concerned about who you might want to avoid on Twitter, here’s a handy field guide to …

8 Tweeps You Don’t Want to Be on Twitter

Twool: Someone who uses Twitter as a personal pressure relief valve to sound off about every little annoyance in life. The Twool will then sometimes get into raging arguments with people who disagree with them.

Twit: The user who finds everything just so amazing!! They usually forget that Twitter is on the web and so they waste everybody’s time and share stuff anyone can find on the web.

Twerp: He or she doesn’t understand that everything is public on Twitter. This category includes the basic (Moms chatting with their college kids about the really mundane or embarrassing) to the less-basic (celebrities having "@" conversations instead of using direct messages and then saying something stupid. A star in this category is former Major League Baseball player @JoseCanseco.

Twanker: Someone who goes out of their way to be obnoxious because any attention is better than no attention. They will sometimes send provocative "@" tweets to celebrities just to provoke a response.

Twarcissist: This Tweep loves themselves and talks all the time and always about themselves and the things they are doing. This area includes companies and brands, but also people who just plain can’t get beyond talking about themselves. Over the years it has included well-known CMOs and politicians all the way down to Twitter newbies just finding their way.

Twidiot: He or she never knows what is or is not appropriate to say on Twitter. This includes those who use very foul language all the way to those sharing their illegal activities as they are doing them! They may also be described as a "Twat" in British English.

Twalker: This creepy Tweep is a stalker – that person who is on Twitter only because of the slim promise of interactions with the famous, the desirable or the influential. Sends numerous "@" messages to these people and does not get a response – ever. So are there other kinds of Twitter annoying personas out there? Give them a name and let me know.

Related posts:
5 Quick Ways to Decide on Twitter Follows
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter
6 Reasons to Finally Join Twitter

Thursday, February 21, 2013

5 Quick Ways to Decide on Twitter Follows

We’re all pressed for time so when someone follows you on Twitter or you see a Twitter account you think looks interesting how do you quickly decide if you should follow that account?

While there is no sure-fire way to make sure you only follow the right accounts any combination of the following is likely to increase the chances you’ll be happy with your choices.

5 Quick Ways to Decide on a Twitter Follow

1. Is the account real? Is it a person who really exists or a business that is real? Some tell-tale signs: Recent tweets that mention other Twitter users, retweeting of some posts with links and a URL in the bio that goes to another web site (preferably a personal page about the account owner).

2. Does the account have a reasonable Follower-to-Tweets ratio? If an account, for example has 1,000 Followers and 47,000 tweets that says the account is a "broadcaster" who tweets merrily away and does not get a lot of new followers based on what they share. And "0 Tweets" is a big warning …

3. Does the account have a reasonable Follower-to-Follows ratio? I know, I know not all things can be reduced to numbers: But if an account has a few hundred Followers and is at the Twitter-allowable-maximum of 2,000 Follows then it is likely the account owner is trying to too hard to just get Followers

4. Does the account show some personality? Admittedly this is a personal taste issue, but it becomes something that’s easy to see once you look for it. Does the account sometimes engage in an actual conversation with others on Twitter? Does it add value and/or comments when retweeting interesting material?

5. Is the account relevant to you for other reasons? Is it a person who lives near you? Or is it a business that provides a service or works in an industry that you care about? These things can be checked in the Twitter bio, following the URL in the bio (see No. 1 above) or a quick look at the recent tweets.

What do you think? Are there other things you take into account before deciding to follow or not follow? I'd love to hear them.

Related posts:
11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter
6 Reasons to Finally Join Twitter
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness

Sunday, February 3, 2013

11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter

There are probably dozens if not hundreds of reasons some people on Twitter won’t follow others. Here are my Top 11 reasons. 

I won’t follow you if … 

1. You don’t have a Twitter bio: There may be a good reason, but I can’t imagine what it is. It takes 30 seconds to say something about who you are. The same thing goes if you don’t have a geographic location. It does not need to be specific: city and state or city and country will do just fine. Of course, if you have something to hide … that too is reason enough not to follow you. 

2. You don’t have an avatar: The generic "egg" icon just tells the world you haven’t made the time to get a small picture or symbol out there … or, again, maybe you have something to hide.

3. Your account is locked: You may have good reasons to lock your account (or, again, maybe you have something to hide), but how am I supposed to keep track of whose content I can retweet and whose I can’t? If you want to be that private I have to wonder why you’re on Twitter.

4. You have been on Twitter for less than a month: Unless there’s a history of activity I suspect all Twitter accounts to have a.) hidden agendas or b.) be the accounts of people not fully committed to being part of the Twitter community … yet. This might be hard on newbies, but I know of too many newbies who set up an account, tweet a few times and then go silent.

5. You don’t tweet regularly: You don’t have to tweet every day, but if you’re only tweeting once or twice a week (or less) the chances are I will miss your tweets and we really won’t interact at all. So why bother?

6. You have nothing to say or share: We have all seen the accounts where people build large follower numbers and in three months on Twitter have only tweeted a few dozen times to let the world know "It’s raining here now" or "Just made a killer burger." Really? Is this adding value for anyone?

7. You follow way more people than follow you: You may just be desperate to build a large online following. You may have even purchased followers. Either way you concern me.

8. Your profile and tweets reveal you are mostly on Twitter to sell: I get stuff pushed on me in plenty of other ways. I don’t need Twitter to feel like a selling channel.

9. Your tweet history is full of self-promotional words or links: If your tweets are full of "I" statements and the things "you" want to sell or promote, then "you" clearly missed the memo that Twitter is supposed to be a social medium. "You" don’t need me to follow "you." All "you" really need is a mirror so you can admire the view. See Commandment No. 1 in 10 Commandments for Social Media.

10. You are promoting porn, gambling or other vices: ‘Nuff said. If I wanted this stuff I’m pretty sure I could find it on my own.

11. You are a business and only ever tweet about the business: As much as you love your business and think everybody else should too, I’m sorry I just don’t care. If your business doesn’t have a human face I’m outta here. Having said that, I will admit to connecting with social causes and the organizations that support them. That at least seems more in the spirit of social media.

So, what do you think? Did I miss any reasons you have for not following or following back on Twitter?

Related posts:
6 Reasons to Finally Join Twitter
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
The 7 Deadly Sins on Twitter