To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?

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I’ve been on Twitter since 2009 but these days you’d probably just consider me a lurker. When I first joined I tweeted a lot but it was about silly things I did during the day. At the point I realized no one cared what I was saying, I just became a listener on this platform. For years that’s all I’ve been. I will push out an occasional tweet or retweet but most of my time is spent reading tweets from the more than 600 accounts that I follow.

I’m learning that it’s important to have a personal brand. I’m getting my Masters in Social media, yet I’m not utilizing social in a way that I should be personally. Things are about to change for me. Just like any business I need to set a goal, figure out my voice and do some research.  With Twitter businesses need a goal. It will help figure out what type of voice, engagement and content it’ll need to succeed.

When it comes to developing my personal brand, I have to remember it’s not about the number of followers but the amount of engagement from my tweets. To get followers to engage, I need engaging content. To be successful, I need to know what my followers are looking for in terms of content. If I figure out how they are engaging on Twitter, I can create content that works for them.

The point of Twitter is not to sell your product. I find this very hard at my job when I constantly want to tweet links to our web content to drive up our traffic. My tactic needs to be about starting conversations that can then include links to photo or video content our followers will find engaging.

As you ease into Twitter, it’s important to do thorough research. Look for influencers in your industry and for people that will be good for you to follow. It’s important to read through the conversations taking place on Twitter before diving in. This will allow you formulate how you can add to the conversation and to present yourself as an expert in that industry.

A very important lesson for everyone on social media is to have conversations. An easy way to do that is to respond to your followers. Our readings said that you should respond to everyone, but I’m not sure that is possible for all brands. For my personal brand that is an easy goal to achieve but it might not be for a large corporation that receives thousands of tweets a day.

Our readings this week were full of great tips and tricks. It’s important to keep tweets short. It’s easier to retweet something when it doesn’t hit the 140 character limit initially. Hashtags are very important and no more than two should be used in a tweet. It’s easy to follow conversations when hashtags are used and it’s the best way to track analytics on your tweets. Images, videos and calls to action are a must when you tweet. All three will bring more engagement, which is the goal. Finally, it’s important to be authentic and portray a human voice. Your followers want to connect and who is the one behind the tweet.

Prior to this class how involved were you with Twitter?

If you tweet from a business account, do you engage with every tweet you get? If not, will you start?

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14 thoughts on “To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?

  1. Hi Stacy,

    Prior to this class, I originally had a Twitter account in 2008 that was mostly me talking to college friends and Professors, and truthfully I didn’t like it so I stopped using it in favor of using Facebook. Now that I have read all the articles I can truly see the value in Twitter and will be using it a lot more proactively. I am using it as myself, but myself is my business too, so I will be responding to every tweet, although I have been already. I think that is just a good practice in any kind of social media outlet. Great post!

  2. Hi Stacy,
    I’ve also been on Twitter since 2008. The news organization I was working for had an account and I’m always trying to adapt to any technologies my workplace uses, so I signed up for my own account. I probably still use Facebook more often, but find that Twitter is a good overall way to see what’s going on, especially when it comes to breaking news. I try to respond to every tweet I get personally and professionally, though it can be a little harder to do so since more responses tend to come to that account than my own account. People feel valued when they are responded to. I know I do.

  3. I heart Twitter, both for my personal use as well as managing my company’s accounts. AL.com does not currently respond to every single mention on Twitter, but I have been tasked with forming a more concrete social media strategy for us, and I would like to make that part of it. Right now, we answer every question we get, and often favorite other of our mentions just to let the user know that we’ve seen their tweet and appreciate it. However, as a Twitter user on a personal level, I can definitely see how a reply would make me feel more appreciated.

  4. I’ve been on Twitter since 2010 and I too would say I was a lurker for awhile. I initially joined as a requirement for my job at the time (as a news producer) and I just started following news organizations and famous people. But in the past couple of years as I changed jobs and my interest in social media has grown so has my Twitter use. Now I not only enjoy tweeting pics of my dog (#MistyDawg) but also I’ve started “live tweeting” events like the Oscars, Grammys, VMAs (although I was mostly horrified), and even work events, such as a vaccine town hall and a series of women’s health information sessions called Women’s Health University.

    From a business standpoint, besides the “live tweeting” events I could definitely do more to engage with followers. We normally just tweet now about community events and health screenings. I think we could start to do more when it comes to engagement. I think I may start to ask more questions and again try to remain concise which can be hard in healthcare!

  5. Pingback: Cheat Tweet | DarleenLove4learning

  6. Stacy,

    Prior to this class, I was pretty involved with twitter. Overly so. I actually have cut down on my twitter use since starting this program and learning just how much a random tweet could impact people’s perception of you or your brand.

    I use twitter at work, but I do not reply to every tweet. There is no reason to reply to some of the negativity I get during games that might not be going our way. Do you guys ever deal with that type of issue at the LPGA?

  7. I’m amazed at how many people have been using Twitter for so long! I have only been a member for less than a year. I have spurts where I’m really into it and then stop using it for months at a time.

    My company JUST started using its Twitter… like, since I started handling the social media a few weeks ago. In fact, my boss did her first Reply today and it was a pretty big moment. So it’s very helpful that I’m learning even these basic Twitter tips so I can teach them to others at my work.

    We are trying to figure out the best way to respond to each tweet. In PR, we realized there are some people (I guess small time journalists?) who retweet the press releases we send out over wire services. So, we’re trying to learn what is the best way to thank them for helping us spread the word about either our brand or our clients.

    • I think a great way to thank the press is to then retweet them but add in thanks for your support. Then you are pushing out their twitter handle to get possible followers. You could also do the trend of follow Friday where you suggest in a twitter a few accounts to follow and it could be those media.

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