Twitterazzi: are you being followed?


Twitterazzi: are you being followed?

When it comes to Twitter, I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination. I absorb information as I go along, watching and learning from the mistakes others make. I also apply over fifteen years of online experience to my approach. Some things never change, and others get much worse.

The first error is to treat the platform as a free bulletin board to advertise. Tell me: who is actually reading this bulletin board? Are you? I’ll tell you this much at no extra cost: almost no one is reading. It’s for the same reason no one buys a newspaper just to read the dull adverts. You don’t go for a walk in the park in order to take in the pretty billboards.

Therefore, is there any point to Tweeting on Twitter like a Twit? The short answer is: no! You are really wasting your time, but worse of all, it’s a missed opportunity. Twitter was designed to be social, and a way to tell everyone what you were up to in a concise manner. Do you delight in receiving unsolicited SMS on cell phone, or endless spam emails? If not, why are you sending annoying tweets out into the world?

The second misconception is in assuming that Twitter doesn’t work, and you are partially right: it doesn’t work the way people think it does. You cannot force the system to ‘hard sell’ to the public. You cannot coerce it to insinuate your product into people’s lives. The question that remains is: why are people still trying?

The third mistake is in the assumption that Twitter is a hands-off wonder-wand. You wave it about, tell people who you are, what you are selling, and then you need never bother to return. The sales will mysteriously flow with abundance. For your followers, it’s a bit like watching beige paint fade and peel. The world is not just a bunch of twits, and they can see who is actively contributing, and who is not pulling his or her weight.

The many online folk have adopted a lazy, self-centred, ‘thanks in advance’ attitude, and let me tell you, it isn’t working. There are now more dissatisfied people than ever before. So perhaps the time has come to break the cycle, and try something different … oh, let’s say – being social?

One would think that this is obvious, and yet I see people repeating the same Tweet, like a Twit, and Twittering when they get the same result – or none at all. You are not being social, but rather annoying and merely contributing to the global cacophony. The higher the volume of noise, the louder people shout. So stop shouting and reduce your own racket. If we all reduce the white noise, less will be tweeted and more will be read. Now doesn’t that sound like a good plan? Shouting louder doesn’t guarantee you will be heard, but almost certainly means you will be the first to be ignored.

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There are those who complain that there is nothing social about Twitter, or and social media for that matter. Sadly, that is often an accurate observation. At times, the people who complain the most are the ones with the least social profiles or content. What have you put out there to engage your fellow man?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t converse with adverts. It’s not very engaging, interesting, or rewarding. I always pop onto a new follower’s profile to see if I want to follow them or not. Fake accounts, or people who post offensive content, are not on my priority list. Many profiles are what I call a ‘monologue’. There are no conversations, or retweets. The flow is filled with me, me, and fabulous me! Really? I have news for you …. I look up and down these profiles, I can find absolutely nothing of interest to engage with, and so, I don’t.

When I post content onto any social media profile, I first ask myself: why would anyone want to read this? Looking for an angle to lure passers-by into my store, I try to share content that entices commentary. I get awfully excited when a conversation gets going, or something of mine is retweeted. This indicates to me that I have connected with someone, and I have done something right.

Humour is a great way to grab people’s attention, but on its own, it’s stagnant. Don’t merely ‘repurpose’ a Tweet. Put your own spin on it, add a comment, and turn it into a conversation. Never repost something because everyone else is doing it. You are not a monkey. Contrary to what people may think, popularity does not rub off. The world does not owe you any hero worship.

It is also important to mix up the material you share, because people lirediety. Is your contribution fun? Those that cannot be bothered to think about content, should not be surprised when no one pays any attention.

Interesting people put some thought into what they share, and find themselves on ‘interesting people’ type of lists. They gain more followers, but more importantly, readers. Just because someone is following you, it doesn’t mean they are paying any attention. If you tickle people’s funny bones and tweak their attention, you are sure to keep their focus.

When you look at social media in this fashion, you realise you have the world in the palm of your hand – until you mistreat it, so treat it well. What did you tweet of interest today?

Don’t simply ‘follow’ me, but rather ‘join’ me on Twitter.
I don’t #byte 🙂

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