Am I Using Twitter Wrong?

By now there’s no question that I enjoy being on Twitter. I’ve written about it enough and talked about it enough and even given tips on how to use it for business. There’s really a lot to Twitter that can work for us, even though I still say it’s probably not for everyone.

tweet me something
by Policarpo Wood

However, I’ve been having this feeling lately that I’m not quite using Twitter properly. Of course some might say there’s no proper way of using Twitter and I may or may not disagree with that. After all, I’m the guy who wrote on the mix of sociability and business on Twitter as well as telling a story about the power of Twitter.

According to all the sources that give Twitter reports and the like, I’m considered an almost perfect user. I have the mix of being social as well as sharing information. Klout, which I’m still unsure about, lists me as a thought leader, saying I understand what my audience wants to hear. And according to Twitter itself I’m in 244 direct lists, which means that many people are actually looking to see what I have to say and want to participate with me. Out of around 2,800 followers, that’s somewhere around 5%; I’ll take that.

It’s the first point up there that I’ve been wondering about, however. Business and sociability. I know I’ve got the sociability part down, but the business part bothers me. I’ve started wondering just what type of business stuff am I doing that could either drive people to my websites or get people to communicate with me to possibly work with them.

What am I doing? Well, let’s see… Every blog post from all of my blogs shows up on Twitter; that’s a little bit of marketing. That might work for my business blog but it doesn’t do anything for any of the rest of my blogs. I talk about all types of concepts and stories on the other 3 blogs, but none necessarily help me hype any business I might do. Every once in awhile I post a link to a page on one of my websites highlighting a business process I can perform, but that’s really rare, as I’m not one of those people who’s popping out “me-me-me” every 5 minutes; ugh!

This leads to the question of how one can do a proper mix of sociability and business on Twitter using the same account, because some people get around this by creating two accounts. What happens with that for the most part is that people either forget which account they’re on when they communicate with someone or they end up posting everything twice because they remember and then switch to the other account because it might have different followers. I know some people that have 4 or 5 Twitter accounts; I figure I’m schizophrenic enough having 4 blogs.

Probably the best thing I could do for business would be to follow certain hashtags, as I talked about when I wrote on Twitter chats. It’s the major recommendation for large businesses, that they follow not only their business name but whatever their industry happens to be to see what people are talking about.

I don’t follow any hashtags consistently, but have mainly stuck to seeing what’s going on in my community unless there’s something big going on in the world. I need to think about which 3 hashtags I should be checking on a more consistent basis that makes sense.

For instance, it would make no sense following the term “writing” because that can be used so many ways that it would become a major mess. I could follow the term “blogging”, though, not necessarily because it would lead to business but because it’s a topic that would be easier to follow and would lead to a lot of blogs that write on the subject, giving me more opportunities to spread my influence.

Just to mention this, I have gotten work that came directly from Twitter. There was one person I was consistently writing for last year, and I got a minor speaking engagement, locally so it was free, from it as well. I’ve also been interviewed many times by my friend Beverly because of our Twitter conversations. So I’m not totally deficient; I just feel I can step it up.

If you’re of a mood to be using Twitter for business in any fashion, what do you think of my beliefs in the process of hashtags? Are you doing something different, or are you even trying to use Twitter for business in any fashion?

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22 thoughts on “Am I Using Twitter Wrong?”

  1. I have thought about how I am using Twitter, and wondered if I was actually using it right as well. I guess it all depends on who you are, and what you are using Twitter for. Some may use it for personal reasons, while others for business.

    I mainly use it for my blog, and sharing interesting posts to my followers. I don’t use it for personal matters, so I post very little about my personal life on Twitter.

    1. Hi Paul, and welcome to the community! I don’t post a lot of personal stuff on Twitter, but I do have many personal conversations with people, as well as talking about topics other than what my business is related to. That’s really the part where I’m not sure how business-centric I am with my participation there. Then again, I do enjoy what I do there so I guess I’ve chosen, in a way, what’s more important for me.

      I guess, that is. lol

  2. This is not going to answer your question, Mitch, but you are using Twitter perfectly — for you. There is no correct way to tweet. It’s different for every person and therein lies the beauty and efficacy of the system.

    1. Thanks Ari. I actually question it because of the business aspect that I might be missing overall, though I enjoy the interactions I get from it as it stands now.

      1. I’d have to admit that’s pretty cool. Actually, it’s how I connected with Guy Kawasaki once upon a time.

  3. I have wondered about this as well. I have two twitter accounts. One for photography and one for Disney related news. These are my two main interests on Twitter.

    I, too, wonder about the social aspects. I often cringe at some of the things people will put on Twitter. I think it is very difficult to be social and professional at the same time. It is who we are though. In that respect, people will either like us or not.

    I am now considering starting a second blog in a different subject which is related. Do I start a new twitter account for that or use an existing one?

    Not sure just saying it’s how I use Twitter, is fully correct.

    1. Scott, there are no rules to tweet. I’ll write that as many times as necessary. If there were rules, you wouldn’t be asking this question.

    2. Scott, it’s a tough question to answer. As I said, I’m already kind of schizophrenic by having 5 blogs, and I’m thinking if I had to then keep up with multiple Twitter accounts I’d go nuts. Heck, I might start having conversations with myself; yeah, I know you’ve seen me do that at your house. lol

      1. Okay, no need to go there since you got it covered. 🙂

        I think writing it out made up my mind. I will use my photo twitter account for the new blog. Since it will be used to promote my photography. Once I get a few more things worked out, I will ask your opinions on it. Not quite there yet.

  4. Mixing both is not really easy and again depends on business. Mixing posts with personal thoughts and business is not always a good idea. I have never been successful on Twitter regarding business, but since some of the posts started appearing in blended and real time Google results it became easier to get ranked on highly competitive keywords and get customers to land on highly commercialized page of website.

    1. Carl, I’m not really sure how to use it for Google, and at this point I’m not sure I want to use Twitter in that fashion.

      1. Even if you don’t you actually appear in the results. For example you tweet something about “Easter Smiles”, your tweet appear in Google results. Just as an experiment, tweet a topic and remember a keyword in this tweet. Search Google for this keyword. On the left hand side there are more search options. Click latest and you will see your tweet at the top.

      2. Carl, I just did that very thing. Went to Google and typed in “Easter Smiles” and this blog comes up first. But the tweet didn’t come up in the next 200 posts. Now, maybe it came up in immediate search and then doesn’t stick around, but truthfully I’m not sure how that helps anyone.

  5. I think Ari is right that there is no one size fits all for Twitter which doesn’t make it any easier from my point of view working out if what I’m doing is really effective or not. It’s the same for most social media, you just have to keep doing what you’re doing and perhaps hope you stumble across something that engages your audience and keeps them interesting.

    1. Thanks for your perspective Sarah. I think I could change up how I do things now but I’m kind of comfortable with how I do things for the most part.

  6. I don;t think that there is a good way or a bad way of using twitter. For personal uses, share just about anything that you could think of. For business, only business-related.

    1. Not a bad theory, but if you only have one account that handles both you’re kind of left trying to figure out which way to go.

  7. Hi Mitch,Nice and interesting post.I think it is up to the person that how he uses twitter account for.I use my twitter account to promote my blog.

    1. You’re probably correct. Still, a little self reflection doesn’t hurt from time to time.

  8. We are looking to use twitter and twitter API for us and our clients and we hope this will have a great impact but result yet to be seen!

    1. One can only hope the metrics prove to be positive for you, John. Figuring out how to get those Twitter APIs working properly all the time can be a hassle I’m sure.

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