If you’ve tried to use Twitter without much success, you aren’t alone. With the advent of automation and scheduling updates, social platforms can seem like a barren wasteland. This is especially true for the likes of Twitter because it’s supposed to be real time. Or at least it used to be. Nothing feels worse than sending out a thoughtful, clever, life changing, awe inspiring tweet into the twittersphere, only to hear crickets in return.
Cheep. Chirp. Cheep. Chirp. Chirp. Cheep. (those are crickets).
So, with the Goliaths of auto-scheduling and the so-called “life saving” time they give us, how do you use Twitter and be awesome? Make it personal. Take back the light! Or in this case, the Twitter feed. You ARE the light – shine shine shine.
Okay, this is getting a little after school special for me. But here’s how you can use Twitter, be awesome, get lots of followers and see tons of engagement on the platform.
1. Make it personal. Anyone who says business isn’t personal, is lying. Of course it’s personal! Does business pay for your rent or mortgage or help keep the student loan collectors at bay? Heck yes it does! So it’s personal. Using Twitter to further your blogging or business goals requires you to make it personal. Get a wicked awesome head shot in your profile. Follow it up by writing a clever, thoughtful bio with a link to your website or newsletter sign up page. And of course, have a stellar background cover. Fill that baby out like Pamela Anderson fills out a tight red tube dress (am I dating myself right now?) – make. it. personal.
2. Be Authentic. Use YOUR voice to share interesting updates, conversational observations, helpful or entertaining links, hashtags, favourites and pictures, pictures, pictures. Focus on your niche/passion but don’t be afraid to include some things that are totally separate from it – again, this makes it personal (point numero uno). The only thing that really differentiates your Twitter feed from someone else’s is you, so be that. Be your brand. Be awesome.
3. STFU (aka shut the fuck up). Shouting out tweets without engaging with other’s is the rudest and worst thing you could possibly do on Twitter (or any social site). Nobody cares. Does that sound mean? Good. Because rude people deserve to be taken down a notch or two. There’s never an excuse to be rude – in the social or in life. Social media is NOT traditional media so screaming “Look at me! Look at my stuff! Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy! BUY!” is going to do nothing but alienate your audience.
Social media followers want a relationship with you, so be relational; Use “@tags” to show people you’re talking directly to them.Besides, with the new changes to the Twitter timeline, you’ll want to make sure you engage with those you want to see in your feed. Because evidently Twitter wants to be just like Facebook. Which for the life of me, I can’t understand. Why would anyone want to be like the troublesome, stinky, old man at the party who just pisses everyone else off?
This goes for following people too. Please stop asking for people to follow you. You must follow before people follow back. Stop focusing on hard numbers (i.e. I need 10,000 followers) and start focusing on the relationships you can nurture with the ones you already have. If you’re providing worthwhile content (see points 1, 2 and 3), your followers will grow organically because you deserve it. I promise.
4. Filter your feed. Get rid of all the junk users you follow – the bots, the people who only talk about themselves, who obviously sync all their accounts and never show up, who don’t engage with others – and watch the world of Twitter open up to you. Social media is a LOT more fun if people are social. I can
lose spend hours on Twitter chatting with people who care about the same things I do and not even notice the time fly by. This is because I went through the 1500 people I followed and got rid of half of them. Sure, it was time consuming and monotonous but look at the time, energy, fulfillment and engaging results I’ve achieved because of it. Sure, you’ll probably piss a few people off if they notice you un-followed them – they may even un-follow you. But don’t look at those few crazy haters as a step backwards, look at it as an opportunity to make room for more interesting, engaging and results-driven opportunities with more worthwhile Tweeters.
While you’re at it, create lists so you can view streams/topics that are of interest to you at a particular moment and engage with industry leaders, peers or whoever floats your boat.
5. Show up. You can’t have a presence on social media without being present on social media. Seriously. I’ve gone over this in length as to why scheduling and auto-updating your tweets, Facebook posts, etc… is the death of all that is good and holy and beautiful but let’s reiterate briefly so we make sure you’ve got it: Unless you unsync, unschedule and show up to engage with people, you will NOT get the results – engagement, followers or sales – that you want. Period. If you have time to watch that TV show at night or watch that eight billionth cat video, or pee, you have 20 minutes each day, broken up into manageable segments, to show. up.
So show us your pretty face and let us hear your melodic voice and see how awesome you really are – because let’s face it, YOU. ARE.
“Let’s put the social back in social media!”
Click to tweet this!
Knowing how to use Twitter (and be awesome) takes time. That boat we talked about? The one that floats yours? Needs time to chug along and gain momentum. Like all social media, Twitter benefits most – and so do you btw – if you enjoy the platform. Spend some time getting to know it and the audience you have there and give back. Your followers, engagement and loyalty will grow as your involvement does.
How do you use Twitter? What’s your experience? What works for you? What doesn’t? What’s the most exciting thing about it for you? Are you on Twitter? Which social platforms do you enjoy? Which are a chore? Share your thoughts below and I promise to reply personally (I may even write a blog post about it)!