You either tweet or you don’t, but love it or hate it, Twitter has a lot to teach us about the way we manage social media. Not convinced?
Let’s take a closer look and see how Twitter differs from other social media platforms.
- Concise: You are limited to 140 characters for your tweet so your message has to be very specific, especially if you want to include a link.
- Immediate: News spreads incredibly quicklyacross Twitter. It has now become the place the journalists go for information because it pops up fast and in real time.
- Topical: If you’ve only got 140 characters, you’re not going to waste it, are you? Take a look at the latest trending topic and watch the tweets roll in. Your brand can be made or ruined via Twitter in a matter of hours.
- Relevant: While users do tweet to chat (it is a social platform, remember), you’ll see their main posts are always on topic
So, in Twitter you’ve got a powerhouse of speed and concise information. Why doesn’t that scare people away? When you first begin to use Twitter, the speed can be overwhelming but you’ll soon see that there is a specific kind of behaviour that you develop once you settle in. I think this is what makes Twitter work so well.
These are the traits which Twitter users display.
Generous sharing and retweeting: In general the focus is on helping others and sharing information. Ask a question and people will answer. Make a good point and others will share it. There does not seem to be the same heavy emphasis on advertising and self-promotion on Twitter.
You know you’re talking to a real person: No pre-scheduled tweet or automated reply can share your tweets, answer your questions, or take such immediate action. When you know you’re talking to a real person, it’s a lot easier to start a conversation.
Clarity: There is an art to condensing useful, quality information into 140 characters so users learn how to create a message in just a few important words. Twitter users have mastered the art of clarity.
It’s ok not to be too serious: Twitter users are happy to play a game or exchange banter.While Facebook news feeds are full of cartoons and images, there is not a lot of banter that goes on. It’s important to play because it helps you build relationships and it catches the imagination of people who become new followers.
Here’s an example. You can follow the rest of this conversation over at Buzzfeed. Go on, it’s funny.
So straight away both parties have shown a sense of humour, good natured and bucket loads of personality.
Gets interaction and traction through conversation: Of course, followers watch and comment, and next thing you know, there’s a real conversation going on. It gets you noticed. How else would the feed end up on Buzzfeed’s pages?
You can probably see where I’m heading with this.
Twitter teaches us how to manage social media, no matter what platform we choose.
If you can craft a simple but relevant post (or image/graphic) that is easy to understand and presents your message clearly, you’re on a winner. If you can post it on time – when it’s likely to be most important to your clients – it will bring you more attention.
Remember the social angle to what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to have fun. That gives your followers something to join in with and shows a glimpse of your personality. And don’t hesitate to share quality information with your followers, even if it comes from your competitors. Your followers are more likely to link it with you, anyway, because that’s where they found it.
Above all, be responsive. Show that you’re a real person posting live, not just sending marketing messages via automated scheduling.
You can build relationships and a following with just a few words and some personality. If you don’t have a Twitter account, go and set one up. It’s the best social media proving ground you can have.