Why Twitter Is Way Better Than Hard Drugs
Tweeting and gaining new followers is valuable, educational, enjoyable and HELLA addictive. Most businesses drive their product through Twitter constantly, and if they aren’t then they will be soon. Occasional tweeting and marketing is a gateway drug; soon you’ll be checking your social media outlets over and over again. Whether you’re a small business marketing your content or just using to get your fix, Twitter is still better than hard drugs in every conceivable way:
- Twitter delivers a unique high but doesn’t melt your face off
- Followers inflate your self esteem and don’t cost any money
- Drugs are stupid, while twitter followers are, well…
And so on. Ok, users of the social media giant can be stupid too, but only if you let them infect your feed. Think like Christian Bale at the end of American Psycho: ignore the spam-bots and the sex sites (THEY’RE NOT REAL) or else you’ll find yourself inclined to feed kittens to your computer. Twitter can be fun and informative provided it doesn’t overwhelm your life and your business. There are simple lessons I’ve learned, either on my own or through helpful insight from people I follow and people who follow me.
Here’s five elements (and a few helpful links) to pay attention to while building your Twitter portfolio.
Content Is For Followers
Everyone wants more followers because everyone wants people to listen to what they have to say. Are you posting something that matters to people? How does your account stack up against the competition?
“Wait, Kelvin, there’s a whole lotta people on twitter saying junk that doesn’t matter.” Not true, says I; it just doesn’t matter to you. I care a lot about what the national sports media has to say, particularly when it comes to hockey and my beloved Edmonton Oilers, but maybe you don’t.
In this sense twitter is just like copywriting: if your tweets help certain people then you’re going to get follows from those people and those of a like mind. You don’t care what Kim Kardashian has to say? Then don’t follow her on twitter (follow Jenny Johnson instead, you’ll find out why in two seconds).
If you’ve got the good stuff that people want then you’ll get found (and the 5-0 will stay off your back).
Give yourself a rough formula in the early days for following new profiles. Between 1-3 daily? 5-10? Just because you follow a profile doesn’t mean the favour automatically gets reciprocated. Constantly evaluate and ask yourself why you’re following someone. You’re following personalities, not machines. If you follow a billion people/companies/superheroes/comedians then it will be impossible to interact with all of them. Take your time and get to know everyone you follow at least a little bit.
There’s no quick formula for building an army of followers whether you’re using Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook or Google Plus, so don’t waste your time trying to find one. The methods out there that claim to be able to do this are making empty promises a la the street candy, so say no to the quick fix. Check out how businesses are getting twitter all wrong with an awesome video created by Ruth Zive.
When Should I Tweet?
Enough to keep people interested, but not so much that they aren’t turned away by a barrage of useless information or loads of RT’s and #hashtags. There’s no real right or wrong answer here – just think about what annoys you. I know I’m being overly negative here, but the best practice is moderation. Instead of ruining your life with hard drugs, just have a couple beers or a glass of wine instead.
Regulate the amount you tweet and keep it steady. 76 tweets one day and then nothing for a week will turn people off and you’ll lose momentum. My new friend Rob says this is the most important rule to adhere to when searching for more followers, so go follow him. Studies exist that point to the most effective times to tweet and update facebook; take these guides to heart but make sure your twitter practices are optimized for your followers.
Humans > Robots
Communicate with every living being that follows you and ignore the hot babes with zero tweets that follow 123K profiles. Real people are opening themselves up to your insights, so don’t be rude; go talk to them! Cathy Pressland at Stressfree Web Traffic likened twitter to a fun cocktail party - treat it as such. You wouldn’t walk behind a woman at a party all night smelling her hair, would you? Of course not. Introduce yourself and discover what you can offer eachother. Information and education, hopefully, rather than hairspray advice.
Twitter: Constant Learning
The most important aspect of Twitter is to consider what it does for you.
- Is your life helped?
- Do you learn or gain something from everyone you follow?
- In return, are you putting content out there that helps your followers?
As we’ve discussed, so many people are merely following for the sake of following back. Often that’s the entire point of their account. Why follow someone if you’re not getting anything out of the relationship? A million followers who don’t listen to a word you have to say is pretty useless.
I follow fellow copywriters and bloggers like Sonia Simone, Ruth Zive and Stanford Smith to keep my finger on the pulse of the current state of affairs regarding content marketing. I also follow sports journalists and I follow a few comedians and friends to get laughs and keep in touch. It’s fun and exciting, and my brain is clouded with only the good stuff.
I tweet info that will help my followers: copywriting posts from Function, important articles from other credible sources and the occasional personal tidbit that lets everyone know I have a pulse. Twitter helps me connect, and I’m never overcome with the desire to eat a man’s face. Everybody wins!
Thanks for reading! Let me know why you follow certain people and please share this article on Twitter!
Photo Cred: Flickr user JD Hancock