I’ve been on Twitter for over 10 years, and wow – has it gone through a lot of changes!
In early days, you were limited to 140 characters, including links, so you had to be creatively concise. Surprisingly, this led to some interesting conversations and relationship-building.
Upgrades to the platform have allowed us to encourage engagement by including twice as many characters as well as attaching post previews, images, or videos to our tweets. But has it really worked?
We now have nearly 20 times as many people tweeting, with a pretty high percentage of them not even attempting to have conversations. Instead, they just post random quotes or links to their own blog or someone else’s, usually without any personal comment. Not engaging at all!
If that sounds like your entire Twitter strategy, you’re not alone. I’ve done it too, more often than I’d like to admit, but lately I’ve been trying to get back into using Twitter as an effective networking tool.
I realized I was following too many people who tweet about the same topic, so it was flooding my newsfeed. Since I’d already added most of them to Twitter lists, I began to unfollow, knowing I can still see their tweets by going to the page for their particular list when I want to explore that topic. Now my newsfeed is more varied and I’m more inclined to reply or click on a link.
One side of networking on social media is finding people to connect with. Cleaning up my newsfeed was a big help.
The other side is showing that you’re someone they would want to connect with.
10 Types of Tweet
Back in 2009 I wrote a blog post to answer the question “What should I tweet about?”
In my post, I found and shared 10 tweets, most of which did a great job of showcasing the user’s business or personal brand without sounding like a sales pitch. These were the types of tweets I identified:
- Casual chatter
- Initiating a discussion
- Mundane chatter
- Replying to someone else’s tweet
- The retweet
- Asking a question
I’d intended to come up with ten current examples for this post, but discovered that there’s not nearly the variety and interaction I experienced in the early days.
What if we all went back to these concepts? Wouldn’t Twitter become a much more interesting place to hang out?
I’ve made a commitment to be more engaging on Twitter, and I hope you’ll join me! Here’s how:
- Download or pin the infographic and keep it handy.
- Make a point of tweeting every day. Do whatever you normally do, but make sure that one post comes from the Tweet Type for that day.
- On Day 11, start again, using the next two Tweet Types on the list.
- Continue working through the list, increasing the number of Tweet Types every day. Eventually it will become second nature.
Follow me on Twitter to see how I make out and so I can check up on you!
Photo © prykhodov / Depositphotos