Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mistakes people make on Twitter

I was over at Robert Bevin's blog scrolling along when I came to a very interesting post.

Now Robert makes some valid points, but we disagree on what exactly is a mistake. Twitter, like all social media is a vehicle to distribute content. I think Robert could have whittled down his list to just three items –

1 Your content is boring

The first point is probably the most important – it doesn't matter if you are trying to tell your friends about the great concert next week, or send funny LOL cats memes. If what you send doesn't grab people, if it doesn't make them stop for a second and really read instead of skim along, then you have failed. For better or worse all tweets are advertising, and anyone in advertising will tell you that content that does not attract attention will be ignored. Even if all you are doing is telling everyone about what happened last night you are advertising, asking people to stop and read your content, taking up some of their time.

Now this is important for anyone who hopes to succeed,

if no one knows what you are doing you are invisible.

Success yesterday, is not a promise of success tomorrow, and if you are expecting people to actively seek out your content, you will find you have very few fans in a very short time. There is a reason, despite all the millions of books he has sold, Stephen King has a fairly active twitter account. As does James Patterson, as does Taylor Swift, as does Guy Fieri, all of these folks are trying to sell you something and want to keep you interested in what they are offering.

2 You waste time

Thanking people is polite. However, it also takes time, and can hide your content. If someone re-tweets you, reciprocate. It's faster than trying to round up the names of everyone who did you a solid that day. Same with socializing. If you are mixing business and pleasure, you will end up do neither very well. Imagine this, you and I are at a huge party, lots of interesting people all around. Except, I am hanging with a small group of my friends telling inside jokes and stories that you do not understand. How long will it be before you walk away to talk with some who pays attention to you and includes you in their group? Same thing on Twitter, inside jokes and stories will drive people away because they will feel left out. Be inclusive.

If you have an auto service because you are busy writing, or cooking, or plotting your hostile takeover of Hostess, that's great. However, you have to feed the auto service new stuff or people will go elsewhere. Unless you are going full ninja, you have to provide content to keep people interested, and aware of what great things are coming down the pike for them.

Old content is stale content. If I sent out a tweet advertising Sylvester Stallone's Judge Dread movie, would you care? Of course not! The movie was released years again it's not news; it's history. If I sent out a tweet saying “Top ten time you can see boobs in Judge Dread,” and linking to a web site, you might be interested, because that's something that might be new and interesting. And there are boobs involved.

An auto service may do auto re-tweets for you, but it does not provide content. If you use one that should be used to free you up to make more interesting content, not ignore your followers.

Re-tweeting others is not producing content. It's nice, you should do it, but it is not an act of creation.

You will not get people interested in you by talking about others.

If you are a content creator you have to be able to talk about what it is you are doing and why people should care. You must interest people, hold that interest and then deliver. If you can not do that, you will become invisible, a whisper in a room of shouting people.

3 You are not prepared to let me pass along your content

As I see it, with Twitter, you want a large fan base and for people to re-tweet your comments. You have to create content, that is interesting, eye-catching, and easily accessed. If your followers can't find new content in a few seconds, most will quickly give up and move on. Your pinned tweet should be refreshed at least daily. Once some one re-tweets your tweet they can't do it a second time, so have fresh content. Don't fight human nature, expecting people to spend a lot of their time trying to hunt for content on your site, make it as easy as you can. This also means you have to do more than just thank people or re-tweet everyone in your group. Your site needs a lot of your content.

You can use Twitter like Robert and I and a whole bunch of others do, by creating new, interesting content, or you can fight human nature. I wish luck if you decide too “not sell out to the man,” but I think you will diminish your chances of success.

Junior Inquisitor comes out 1 March, but why wait?

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