I’ve been on Twitter for about 3 and a half years now and I’ll be honest, like most people I didn’t get it at first. It was like standing in a room of hundreds, thousands of people all shouting things at once and I had no idea who to listen to. And that’s before I even thought about being heard myself – I was an 18 year old girl who went to sixth form, lived with her parents and worked a couple of days a week in a local pharmacy and photo lab – who would possibly want to listen to anything I had to say, even if I could be heard amongst everyone else?
It seemed a bit pointless, but no I was a photographer and I wanted to connect with other photographers, I wanted other people to see my work, I wanted to chat with my friends on there, I wanted to learn from other people, so I stuck with it. And one day, Twitter just began to make sense.
So, here’s the basics I’ve learnt about Twitter so far:
- There’s an audience for everything – whether you’re Tweeting about what you had for breakfast, that new song you like or handing out fashion advice you’ll be able to find an audience. It might be a small audience but someone will want to know
- That being said, the most unique your content the better!
- Similarly think about the value of what you’re posting. Most people aren’t just going to follow anyone, they want something in return, they want to get something out of reading your tweets. If they’re bored, they’ll unfollow.
- Hashtags are great! I felt so ridiculous the first time I ever used a hashtag – I felt like some pretentious hipster but the more I did it, the more I saw the benefit. It really does open your tweet up to the right audience. I want to tweet about marketing – #Marketing, I’m posting a painting I’ve done – #Art, I want to get book recommendations – #reading
- Tweeting at people doesn’t have to be scary. Especially people you don’t know. It’s a great way to share knowledge and get advice! Although I always end up squealing like a 15 year old girl when my favourite author or band even acknowledges one of my tweets…
So now I’m starting to get Twitter and really make the most of it and it’s great! I’ve recently started reading the revised edition of UnMarketing (2012) by Scott Stratten and, of course, he talks a lot about using social media and Twitter in particular but it was one particular story that really stood out to me. It was when he decided, in his words, to ‘eat, breathe and almost sleep on Twitter’ (p.63) – he said in the 30 days he spent challenging himself he was going to Tweet constantly and Tweet Quality, be authentic and create Re-Tweetable content. (I’m saying Tweet a lot and it’s starting to sound weird)
By the end of his 30 days he’d gone from 2,000 followers to 10,000. Now I’m not saying I want 10,000 followers. And I’m not saying I’m going to jump from my 153 followers to suddenly having thousands because for me what I want is a chance to build connections, start posting more and really thinking about what I post. What can I post that is quality? What can I post that other people will be interested in? So, here’s my strategy:
- Tweet more – Same as Scott. Now I’m not going to go as crazy as him, I can’t tweet 200 times a day (p.64-65), I have a full-time job on top of all this but I think a little more consistency in regards to when and how often I tweet would be a big help!
- Re-Tweet more – so often I read great stuff on Twitter and then that’s it. I leave it and move away. From now on, when I see something interesting, I’ll retweet it.
- Share my own knowledge more – I’m not at the claiming I’m an expert stage yet but, you know what, I don’t think I’m as dumb as I sometimes think I am. I’m only 21 but I have a decent amount of experience and I reckon that means I can have opinions and maybe a bit of advice that might help others out too!
- Follow more people – now this isn’t in one of those attempts to go for the horrible ‘I’ll follow you if you follow me’ type thing – the logic behind it is more if I follow more people I find interesting, I’ll be more inspired, find more re-tweetable content, and be able to have more conversations with and learn from other people!
And that’s it really, it’s as simple as that! Also, I promise to stay away from ‘OMG I’m eating a well nice choccie bar #noms’ posts.
I’ll document my progress through my blog so stick around if you want to hear more about that! And if anyone reading has any useful Twitter advice just drop me a comment and let me know! Alternatively you can Tweet to me @rachel0ates
Plus, don’t forget to check out and follow Scott Stratten on Twitter – @unmarketing