Like most things social media requires work, many people are under the impression that if you put a website online or join one of the many social media websites that people will follow your website or buy your products and with social media people seem to think that the act of joining will give them a big influx of friends or followers, all of the above is not true, as with anything else you have to work at it.
I remember reading an article a few months back about how people overstretch themselves and join many social media sites set up websites or weblogs and then seem to forget everyone of them need updating regularly.
So I decided I would follow this wisdom and concentrate on just a few things and get them working properly first, as I have about five blogs I give those a priority and then picked Twitter as my project social media site.
There is probably many people out there like I was and don’t understand Twitter or doesn’t see the point, so hopefully this article will explain the social media system known as Twitter a bit more.
I joined up only in December 2012 over the Christmas holiday, I can’t even remember my reasons at the time, but I did and set about learning more about it, but up to two months ago I still didn’t really understand it fully and is only now I can honestly say I prefer it to Facebook.
So what is Twitter, well it’s classed as a social media website, but has a limitation of 120 characters per post or Tweet as it’s known, this is the first thing a lot of people don’t get, the reason is where Twitter started, it was initially developed as an online SMS texting system between two departments from what I remember reading and it developed into what you see now and used by millions of people from all over the world, Twitter have remained faithful to the original system and actually I like it.
How to get the best out of Twitter.
As with any social media you need to interact, if you just end up ‘following’ people and if your lucky they will ‘follow’ you back, then you may never really understand it, so lets start with some basics.
If your new to Twitter and just set up an account it will look very empty, the first thing you will need to do is follow someone, right from the start it depends on what you intend using Twitter for but initially find out which of your friends and family are on Twitter and follow them, they will obviously follow you back, next look for people that interest you, your own hobbies and interests are a good starting point, I started by following authors of Science Fiction and Fantasy writers, I keep chickens among other things so looked for people Tweeting about their own chickens and so on.
Keeping the balance.
I’ve read so many things about follower counts and how they should look but will give my own outlook on this here and how your profile may look to other potential followers.
If you have say 50 people following you and you following 500, it can make you look a bit desperate so I always stay about 10% ahead with who I follow against followers, why? Because this can go the other way too, if you look at a profile of someone that you would like to follow and they have lets say 150,000 followers but only follow 200 are you as likely to follow them too? If it’s someone in the public eye then yes more than likely but it’s almost as unlikely you will get a follow back, so unless it’s someone that really interests me, I usually don’t bother, and probably accounts for only 10% of who I follow, so take note, if you are on Twitter and your follower count is much higher than who you follow back and you don’t have the blue tick, you may not be getting all the followers you deserve.
It’s not they are being selective it’s probably because they are busy with other things or in fact don’t know your there, after all they don’t just get one or two people following them at a time like you and I do, they get hundreds at a time and doubt they have the time to trawl though pages of followers.
If you are following 500 your follower account should have at least 450 to 470 followers that’s about right, from other peoples point of view to, they can see your more than likely to follow back, authors are generally a friendly bunch and most do follow back, mainly because at the end of the day they are there for one main reason, to promote and sell their books,, no doubt other groups of people follow back out of courtesy, I do, so should be easy to maintain that balance.
After about two or three weeks I tend to unfollow people that haven’t followed back, ruthless I know but until you get a good following you have to maintain that balance.
How to interact.
The obvious one is to reply to their Tweets, something I do regularly, also ‘Retweets’ this is when you retweet someones tweet to your followers, this usually gets a reply under you interactions heading in Twitter, this is because it includes the original posters ID so they know you have retweeted it and will usually thank you, it will also make other people aware of you and can gain you valuable followers, remember one thing quality is better than quantity, it’s far better to have 300 good followers that interact than 3000 that never reply or retweet.
All this interaction also builds your standing on Twitter, the more you intergrate yourself in to Twitter the better you will become known.
Your short Bio on Twitter is also very important, as this may be the first thing a new potential follower will see, so first ditch the egg and find a picture of yourself if possible, I rarely follow egg avatars unless it’s someone I know from elsewhere and add a short bio, plus maybe your website if you have one, my bio is the same as the one here at the top right of this page, same picture too, the bio maybe short but mine encompasses all the main points of my life that I’m currently into or interested in, this helps potential followers make a judgement as to whether they want to follow me.
I have gone from 190 followers in six months to 500 over the last month or so, but have had to work at it.
Build a list.
I haven’t yet had time to do this but I know I am on a few other followers lists as an author, if for instance you love food, you could build a list of all the followers you have that run restaurants or has food blogs and websites, you can do anything that takes your fancy, again it can gain you more followers.
Obviously you are also on Twitter for a reason so don’t forget to promote your own websites and blogs, add a Twitter button to your websites so other people can Tweet your articles.
Above all make it fun, not hard work, the more you play with it the easier it becomes to understand, believe me it’s worth it.
By the way if you want to follow me on Twitter, you can find the Twitter link on the right side bar of this page or search for @Scruffyhippo on Twitter I do actually always follow back
Keep an eye out for part 2