Tag Archives: Twitter

Twitter Tips

Not like I haven’t written about Twitter often enough, but I thought it was time to write a short post on how to use Twitter to enjoy it the best if you’re inclined to use the service, as I am. The truth is that there’s no one way to use it, but there are things that you might want to consider doing and other things you shouldn’t even think about doing.

Twitter can be a lot of fun. But it can also get in the way of your regular life, and the life of others. Some Twitter users find themselves glued to their computer or cell phones literally hours a day, waiting for the next bit of information. Some users rarely show up, only remembering when it happens to come to their mind. Here are some tips for how to use Twitter effectively.

One way to use Twitter is to set defined times for when you want to pop on to see what’s going on. Doing that means you won’t be wasting time that’s needed to do other things by checking on Twitter.

Use a program such as Tweetdeck or Twhirl and set it up so that those specific people whose messages you really want to follow will be there when you do decide to sign on. The general Twitter stream moves so fast that there’s literally no way to keep up with it all unless you are on it 24/7. By using programs such as the ones above, you can be pretty sure that their messages will still be around whenever you do decide to check in.

If you have a blog, find a way to use a plugin of some sort to automatically send those messages to Twitter whenever you do an update. Of course, you can also set up your blog to see what the people you follow have to say, as well as to show what you’re saying on Twitter. I’ll admit that’s kind of irritating to me.

Try to sign into Twitter at least once every couple of days. Just like blogs, people like to see some sort of consistent participation from those folks they’re following. If you pop in and out with no regularity, people will unfollow you.

Every once in awhile, post something that has nothing to do with you. If you see an interesting article, video, or image, post that link onto Twitter. If you read something on Twitter that appeals to you, retweet it for others to see, since everyone following you may not be following someone else. And sometimes, just talk to someone you’re following; you never know what may come of it.

Don’t overdo anything. Don’t try to talk to everyone all the time. Don’t retweet too often. Don’t post too many links. Don’t post too many quotes. Don’t ramble; always try to have something to say.

If you’re using Twitter to only promote your business, try to find ways to interact with people so that it doesn’t look like it’s the only thing you’re doing. Respond to people who try to reach out to you from time to time; it enhances your presence, and people like to see that you’re accessible.

These are only a few tips to help you get the most out of Twitter. There really are no right or wrong ways to use it, but some ways will be more effective for you that others.

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Lots Of Blather On Twitter

I know what some of you are thinking; another post on Twitter!

Well, I can’t help it. Twitter is growing fast, and it keeps popping up in the news. Last week there was an attack on Twitter and Facebook aimed at one individual in particular, and I didn’t write about that. This one, though, needs some conversation.

Tweet tweet!
id-iom via Compfight

There was a study done stating that over 40% of all Twitter statements are “pointless babble;” their words, not mine. What the study did was examine 2,000 tweets over a two week period for these categories: News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Conversational, Pass-Along Value, Pointless Babble. Babble won, shockingly, because I’d have thought spam would have been the big winner here.

What’s also weird to think about is how they were able to select only 2,000 tweets out of a two-week period when there are probably tens of thousands of tweets every minute of the day. No, they don’t tell us this, which, along with the number that were examined, makes the study kind of suspect. Yeah, I know that’s how science supposedly does stuff, but that doesn’t mean these particular numbers are all that valid.

Since I’m on Twitter a lot, and see way more than 2,000 tweets a day (man, I feel silly writing that, but so be it), is following more than 1,300 people, and has almost 2,000 people following me, let me give my opinion on the topics above.

The majority of Twitter messages are spam. Everyone is selling something, or so it seems. Many of them are selling ways of making money on Twitter, which includes getting more followers on Twitter. That’s the biggest message that keeps going by, how to get more followers on Twitter.

Next is self promotion, and I’m a part of that one. Many people with blogs have links to their most recent blog posts showing up on Twitter. Many people also advertise their businesses or services in some fashion. Some overdo it; I’m not one of those.

Conversational and Pass-Along on Twitter value are pretty equal. Whereas there are many messages that get multiple retweets, conversations have to take place first. Probably every 10th message gets retweeted at least 5 to 10 times; there’s your equality.

Twitter Babble comes in fifth, but it’s odd. This is that 94% of people who join Twitter, talk a little bit, can’t figure out what to do, then leave. By sheer numbers I could see how the poll would think these people would put out more posts, but the average number of posts for this 94% is only 10 posts, ever. So, the overall numbers don’t quite fit.

News is last, but with a caveat. When there’s something breaking, news is everywhere. Otherwise, it’s almost nonexistent. I tend to post a lot of news stories because, well, stuff is out there that I want to share, but not as many other people do it.

Percentages? My best guess would be:

* Spam, 30%;
* Self Promotion 25%;
* Conversational 15%;
* Pass-Along 15%;
* Babble 10%;
* News 5%.

Anyway, that’s how I see it; how are you seeing it?
 

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Are You Twitter Selfish?

Twitter’s really been getting a lot more attention lately. When I did the interview on Sunday, we talked a lot about Twitter, and the habits, or lack thereof, for some people who are there in some capacity.

When I wrote my post back in February on why I don’t follow some twitter people, I highlighted some thing that were bothering me about how some people were using it at the time. It never crossed my mind then that I’d have some more gripes about how some people are using it, but I do, and, thus, this post.

I’ll ask the question directly of you; are you Twitter selfish? Some of you are, and I’m not calling anyone out. There are different degrees of selfish, some that are really irritating, some that are what they are. But they will probably tie in with the link to why I won’t follow some people on Twitter.

To start with, I get lots of people following me. I think I’m up around 1,650 at this juncture, give or take a few. Last week Twitter went through and cleaned out a lot of spam accounts, which dropped a lot of people from main Twitter users; I’m not sure how much I got hit, but mine is still pretty big.

What many of those people are hoping is that I’ll follow them; heck, at some point almost everyone wants to be followed. Almost, that is. One of my wife’s friends was over here two weekends ago and asked me about it. When I went to her account, she was stunned to see that messages she wrote to her son were visible. I told her everyone who followed her could see every message she writes to everyone unless she protected her updates. Instead, she went gonzo and deleted her entire account; so be it.

Anyway, I get notification of every person who’s newly following me; most people do. I go in and check out their Twitter page. I look at the messages to see if they actually ever talk to someone. Twitter gives you the first 20 initially; I’ll go through at least 60 messages to see if that person is engaging others in some fashion. If not, I’m not following them, plain and simple. Yes, it’s possible they’re putting out stuff I might be interested in. But if I can’t drop them a quick message and know that there’s a chance they might respond to me, I’d rather not have to deal with it.

I won’t follow someone who doesn’t show they’re participating in the Twitter experience at all. I can’t figure out why any legitimate person wants to follow so many people, yet never says anything to anyone. They’ve been on Twitter two months and have only written 2 or 3 messages, or possibly have never written anything at all. Nope; I’m not following them. They may continue to follow me, but I won’t reciprocate. Thing is, if they ever did write me, which wouldn’t be part of their pattern, I’d see it, and then I’d think about it. But until then, I’m not doing it.

Of course, last time I talked about this land grab for followers and how I didn’t support it, and that’s continuing. More and more people are sending out links saying “get 100 Twitter followers a day”. What the heck are most people going to do with that many followers a day?

Now, I’m not against lots of followers. I want lots of followers also, just like I want more RSS subscribers (and if you’re not following, I hope you do; easy, just look to the top right). But I have lots of things I want to share with people, from three blogs and two business websites. I actually like to talk to people on Twitter, which I do every day. I like to share things I find, and that others find, with those who are following me but not necessarily anyone else I’m either following or who’s following me. I like to be sociable.

And, really, that’s the crux of things. Twitter is called “social media”, and it is. But sociability isn’t a one way street. It’s not supposed to be about “me”, but about “we”. And, unless you’re a news service that I know isn’t a one person operation, that’s keeping me informed about what’s going on, I expect interaction of some sort, even if it’s not always with me. If that’s not going to occur, then I can learn about you in other ways. Heck, someone else is probably going to share your link, and I’ll see it that way if I’m interested. I don’t like selfish, and I’m an only child!

And there you go. What’s this, post #35 about Twitter? I’m sure there will be many more coming; Twitter doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.


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Why I Don’t Want To Follow Some Twitter Folks

My goodness, another Twitter post!

Yes, another Twitter post, but at least each time I write about it, I’m writing something different. In this case, I want to talk about some of the more irritating things I see on Twitter. Overall Twitter is an interesting diversion, and it’s proven to be a news breaker. For instance, Twitter users spread the news about the Hudson River plane landing at least 15 minutes before the news organizations got the story. Twitter has allowed me to talk to people, albeit in short bursts, like Guy Kawasaki and Keith Ferrazzi.

But there are some habits from people that I don’t really like. I remember having a conversation with someone one night, though I can’t remember who, on the subject of some of these bad habits. Frankly, I chalked some of it up to ignorance; ignorance of proper decorum, ignorance of what irritates people, and ignorance of new technologies and how to really use them. However, we have a mixture of things to talk about, so let’s get started.

First, there’s this new trend of people who are creating new Twitter accounts for the purpose of selling something. I’m sure that’s nothing new, but in this case what they do is create the account, then try to start following as many people as they can. They usually pop a picture of a pretty young woman in there, and I wouldn’t doubt that most of the people they’re following are men. Sometimes the names make sense, sometimes they don’t. What I do is see the email come through telling me someone new is following me on Twitter, click on the link so I can take a look, and most of the time, now that I’ve seen it so often, I know it’s a fake account and won’t follow. Usually you see something like them following 1,600 people and maybe 30 people following them.

At the same time, there are some people who legitimately do the same thing. I have no idea how they find me or anyone else, but they do, and they just start following tons of people. I also won’t add most of those folks, but if they have a link to a blog or website I’ll at least check it out first to see what I think about it all. Sometimes the person does look pretty interesting, and I’ll follow; most of the time, though, I want to wait to see if that person draws interest.

Sometimes I take a look at how often someone is updating their own Twitter messages. If they’re not doing any talking, just following lots of people, I won’t follow them; I mean, that’s a waste of time. Obviously they don’t care to share, so I leave them alone. The people who bother me the most that do something like this, though, are the people who follow you, then when you check them out you see that they have their updates protected. Sure, you could ask them if you can follow them, but didn’t I get married so I wouldn’t have to deal with having to ask women I didn’t know if they’d like to go on a date with me? Unless it’s business, I don’t give people a chance to possibly reject me, so I don’t ask, and therefore I’m not following them.

Another thing I don’t like are those folks who have automatic messages when you decide to follow them. I’m sure they think they’re being helpful, but to me it feels more like they’re trying to be pushy. If the messages just said “Thanks for following me” or something like that I wouldn’t be bothered at all. However, what happens is that they either want to tell you about their website or their product, or they want you to download something. Of course, I’m not sure whether it’s a pure download, or an attempt to get me to put my name and email address on a list so they can start sending me all sorts of stuff, but I don’t care. I don’t like it, but I don’t immediately go and unfollow them, though I should. I just don’t pay much attention, don’t download anything, and go about my business.

I also don’t follow anyone who’s barely following others. There’s something narcissisticly wrong in following 10 people when there are 20,000 following you. If the ratio looks wrong, I’m not going to follow because I know that person isn’t going to follow me. Now, if that person follows me first, then I’ll follow them, but really, when is that ever going to happen?

One last thing I hate, but ignore most of the time, is someone who keeps writing post after post, not because they’re giving us a lot of stuff, but because they want to ignore the 140 character limit and actually have a full conversation, like chat rooms or IM’s or email. Having a conversation with someone is one thing; having a conversation with yourself is another. I’ve seen quite a lot of that. I have one friend who does that very thing; once she gets going, she just goes on and on. Sometimes I jump in and start talking to her; sometimes I just ignore it and move on. Since I’ve added TweetDeck to my system to use for my “twittering”, it’s made life so simple because I get to decide who I want to follow with a custom column, so it’s easy to ignore her when I wish. But I love her just the same. 🙂

Twitter can be a lot of fun, and informative also. Some folks just don’t get it; for the rest of us, though, let’s just keep enjoying it.

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Is Social Media Hurting Your Online Business?

As all of you know by now, we had a presidential election this year. It was a major event that, for the first time that I can remember, got more social media attention than at any other time in history, mainly because of sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

Because I’m an independent consultant, I knew that I wanted to protect my overall business by not going too far in saying things one way or the other. And I did just that sort of thing until, near the day of the election, I came across this racist video of a small town in Ohio that literally set me off. Even then, I kept my anger in check by only discussing the issue that the video has brought up and nothing else; I couldn’t be faulted for confronting racism when I see it.

During the last few weeks leading up to the election, I saw some things on Twitter that really blew my mind. There were many hateful things said about both candidates, and as long as things stayed on political topics, I didn’t mind. However, when it got personal and racist and downright insulting, that’s where I drew the line. Instead of participating in the hate, for the most part, I just stopped following certain people. The thing is, some of those people were pretty big names, people whose blogs I read and who’s sites I’d visited; one of them I’d even bought a product from. But it was over; I’d lost respect, and it wasn’t coming back.

Facebook is a different animal from Twitter, and yet it’s still social media. There are people who will “friend” you, and sometimes you decide to go ahead and allow it to happen, even if you’re not sure. Most of the time it turns out to be fine, but sometimes, you see people exhibiting behavior that just drives you nuts. People put pictures of themselves on Facebook, which can be fun, but there’s certain behavior that will get people thinking of you in negative ways. I’ve heard the arguments that people should be able to do whatever they want on their own time, and that those “few” acts of indiscretion shouldn’t count against you.

Well, trust me, they do. I remember years ago going to a local networking event and meeting a woman who obviously had too much to drink, and continued drinking, even after her husband showed up. Her spitting in my face and constant touching me certainly didn’t make me a fan of her or her organization, which is one of the largest local bank chains in my area, and I knew that I would never go into her branch again; truthfully, I’ve never ended up going to any of the branches of her chain except one, and that’s only because a friend of mine works there, and I sometimes meet her for lunch.

On Facebook, it might not only be pictures. People will badger you with stupid stuff over and over, and to get away from it you finally just drop them and move on. Luckily, Facebook allows you to drop people without notifying them. Twitter is the same way, although some people have gotten around that by signing up for something, the name of which I can’t remember, but it tells people who’ve stopped following them. Why anyone would want to know when people drop them is beyond me, since there’s nothing they can do about it anyway.

It prompts me to wonder whether many people are cognizant of things they may be doing that may be hurting their business in some way. For instance, going back to Twitter, there was one lady who probably wrote at least 200 posts on Twitter a day, many times one after the other, and I finally had to drop her because it was taking away my enjoyment of the site. She’s actually quite popular, but knowing the type of person she really is has made me decide not to deal with her in any form anymore. There was someone else whose blog I used to enjoy reading, but then he decided to go after someone on Twitter over the course of a few days, and that turned me off and made me go in another direction.

As you look at your websites, and your blogs, do you think there are things there that might be turning off the wrong people? I know a few people have complained about the advertising on my blog, for instance, but this is an internet marketing blog, my intentions have always been well known as far as my intention on trying to make money with this blog, and I talk about all the things that one eventually sees on this blog, so it’s also a testing site. Yet, the majority of my visitors know what I’m doing, are interested in the same types of things, and y’all keep coming back for more (and don’t think I don’t appreciate it either; thanks folks).

But the one thing no one can say about me is that they saw me say anything inappropriate, or show or do anything inappropriate, on a social media site. I tend to be very cognizant of my image; not everyone is. Ask yourself this question today; are you hurting yourself publicly in ways you’re not intending to?


Super Bowl

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