5 Mistakes People Make On Twitter

Twitter is my favorite social media platform after blogging. Believe it or not, I actually try to talk to every one of the 3,000 plus people following me every once in a while, though not as many talk back. I also just passed 1,000 people I’m following for the first time since I joined Twitter in 2008; that’s pretty amazing. And with just over 87,000 tweets, I like to think I know a thing or two about Twitter.

However, there are people who don’t quite get the nuances of Twitter. There are a lot of people following way more people than I am and have a lot more people following them. But are they effective? Are the communicating or just putting out a lot of noise? Some are, some aren’t, and some are just irritating. Let’s look at 5 mistakes people make on Twitter… in my opinion of course…

1. They either only post links or chatter all day long.

If someone keeps up a diatribe all day long of what they’re doing or just posts links, it often means they’re not trying to communicate with anyone. Unless you’re someone I need to follow because you’re giving me exactly what I need to succeed (which means almost no one), I’m not following anyone that selfish, and not too many other people will either.

If they do, you can bet they’re either bots or people who aren’t reading what’s being put out, and are only in it for the numbers. Do the numbers really mean anything is no one is actually reading?

2. They never respond when someone writes them directly.

Twitter sends you a notification whenever someone writes you directly. If you don’t respond it means you’re not paying attention, or you’ve possibly turned it off, in which case you’re showing you don’t care. Someone like me will unfollow you pretty quickly if I notice it; then again, someone like me checks to see if you ever talk to anyone before I even think about following you.

3. You never put out anything original.

Many people find that they can get a lot of followers by retweeting the content of others. Retweeting basically means sharing what someone else has already posted with the people that follow them. It’s not a bad strategy unless you never put out anything original, which means someone you write, or ever offer an opinion about anything you share. That often means what you’re doing is automated, and even though some people appreciate it no matter what, others know they’re missing the chance to engage you personally.

I’ll grant you that sometimes a tweet is so long that there’s little room left to add a comment. As much as I can I’ll not only alter comments so I can add something, but I also try to do what I can to include the Twitter handle of the person I’m seeing the tweet from, especially if they’re retweeting something. Don’t ever be afraid to manipulate something to make it fit, other than the link, as long as you try to keep the basic message intact.

4. When you do engage people, or share your thoughts, your language is that of someone who doesn’t know any better.

I hate cussing; have never uttered a single word. I’ve gotten used to seeing it here and there online, but some people use bad language as a badge of honor. It’s not, and it makes you look ignorant, even if a few people laugh.

If you’re on Twitter for any business purposes you’ll want to restrict that kind of language. Remember, everything you say on Twitter stays on the internet forever, and now is being recorded by the Library of Congress; how’s that for forever? Remember, people and businesses have lost clients for less.

5. You haven’t set up your bio properly.

When you set up a Twitter account you get to create a very short bio. If you’re there for even a little bit of business you need to remember to put a link to your website or blog, and not a shortened or hidden link because that looks suspicious. Some people don’t put a bio at all; that won’t do.

Some people try to get cute; if it’s for personal use then by all means have fun, but for business tell people what you do, even though you don’t have a lot of characters to get too deep into it. On my Twitter bio I have a link to one of my blogs as well as my main business site. Also, put up a picture or an avatar of some kind; no one likes to follow the little egg they give you when you sign up.

Are you failing in any of these areas? Got anything you’d like to add? By the way, if you want to follow me on Twitter look at that big blue bird on the left and click on it.
 

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Another Blogging Research Survey; Following The Hashtag

Yesterday I wrote a post basically asking myself if I was using Twitter wrong. My thought was that I really wasn’t using it in a proper business way, and thus could be impeding my progress in getting more clients and business through there.


Emotional Chaos by Byron May

In particular, I decided that maybe something I should be doing was following the hashtag for “blogging” so I could see what people might be saying. It didn’t start off as a survey or research in any way, but I was kind of amazed at what I found, what happened and didn’t happen, and other types of stuff, and I figured that since I always say that if people paid attention to what’s going on around them that they’d always have blog posts, and I do, that it would be intriguing to share some of what I came across. If not, well, at least it’s a post. lol By the way, the stats aren’t absolutes, but pretty close to what I came across.

To start off with, I tracked the blogging hashtag over a 12-hour period. That’s a long time, and one would have thought there would be tons of blogs to see. There were a lot of blogs, but it seems that most of them were retweets of those blogs using that hashtag. Probably half of all the links I saw were retweets. And at least 35% of those were retweets for big name bloggers such as Darren Rowse or sites like Copyblogger. And one more amazing thing was that on Problogger, none of the posts that were retweeted were written by him; all were guest posts. Of course Copyblogger has multiple writers, so that makes sense.

Next, about 30 to 35% of the blogs that were being shown were Disqus, Intense Debate, or some other style of blog that required one sign in or create an account. As most of y’all know I don’t do Disqus blogs, so I didn’t even read any of those. Yeah, I know, I might have missed something good, but if I’m not commenting I’m not really sharing either; after all, that was a part of the adventures, commenting then sharing the post, which we talked about a few days ago.

Speaking of which, something else that was interesting is that around 80% of the blogs that were shown and then retweeted didn’t have a single comment on them, and the rest that did didn’t have a single comment from any of the people who had retweeted it; well, only one did, and of course it was our friend Pat who’d beaten me there. Isn’t that kind of bizarre overall though?

On the day I found 9 blogs that I felt I could comment on and then retweet. Out of those 9 blogs 5 of them moderated my comment; y’all know how I feel about moderated comments as well. I didn’t get a single response from any of the blogs I commented on… well, not totally true. From one blog I did eventually get an automated response thanking me for leaving a comment and saying that it would be reviewed and addressed later on. Frankly, I’m thinking that’s not friendly enough for me, so y’all know I won’t be subscribing or going back any time soon.

Finally, obviously I read some good stuff, and some stuff that bothered me slightly but it was still good. I wouldn’t have retweeted anything I absolutely hated. I did retweet a couple of things I just couldn’t leave a comment on because they left me with nothing I could add to the conversation, and I mentioned that in the retweet. There are some pretty talented people out there that we don’t know about, and it’s too bad. But we’re not all meant to agree with everything we see and everything we comment on; we’re meant to add to the discussion if possible.

In the end I’ve decided that’s not a great hashtag to follow. There was more blather there than anything else. I really wonder if those folks are reading any of what they’re sharing or not. At least I did some reading and some sharing, and if nothing else happens I think there will be a few more people who will at least know my face and name because of my commenting on their blogs.

Sometimes, that’s the best you’ve got coming to you.

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Why I’ve Never FF’d On Twitter

If you’re on Twitter for any significant time, you know about FF, or Follow Friday. It wasn’t something that existed when I first joined Twitter, but months later it started up. People saw it as a way to help highlight people they follow, but it also promoted themselves because it was an excuse to put out a lot of posts without really saying anything.

I have to say that it’s nice being recognized on Fridays by a lot of people. However, at this point it’s lost its effectiveness. I have some people I’m connected to that do the FF thing every single day, forgetting it was originally only for Fridays. I have some people I really don’t know who do it all the time, and some of those folks aren’t even following me. And what also happens is that people will see their name on one of these lists, and they forward it as their own FF, and now you’re getting messages with your name on the same list over and over.

I never got into participating in the FF when it started. At first I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t a part of it. In retrospect, I think I saw what was coming and I didn’t want to start it and then have to decide it was time to stop.

I also think that it’s a strange thing to recommend that someone follow another person on Twitter without those people actually saying something that’s worth following. Whereas I think it’s nice that some people will send out my Twitter handle as someone to follow, the truth of the matter is that I don’t think I’m putting out ground breaking tweets that really deserve the kudos. I mean, all my blog posts go out, and I’ll share news links of stories that I like. And every once in awhile I will retweet blog posts that I like.

Ground breaking? Nope, not me. And not many people either. For instance, just what has Charlie Sheen said that deserves over 2 million people suddenly following him on Twitter? How are some of these individuals ending up with more followers than news services, which really do put out some pretty good information?

There are some thought leaders worth following, none of which I’m going to mention here because everyone has their own thought leaders that they like. I only follow a few of them, and only one of those people follows me. And I’m okay with that because in this case I want to be aware of what they’re saying enough to not worry that they may never engage me on Twitter. Strangely enough, every one of them has engaged me at least once on their blogs, so it’s all good.

Think about this concept of FF to see if it’s really in your best interest, or in the best interest of the people you’re recommending. Instead of a blanket FF, why not recommend one person at a time that you like and say why? Trust me, that will go a long way, and be much better, because it will stand out and really look more like a personal recommendation from you to your friends and followers. Of course, still check out everyone to see if what they have to offer works for you.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell