Stay sane with Twitter and your followers — no bot-talk here!

I came to love Twitter years after I started using it. In December 2007, I started off  as  a curious, early adopter and nerd—who, me?—but also as a consumer, a person who only observes what’s happening while checking on my favorite app publishers, bloggers and companies.

Don’t get me wrong—that’s fine if that is what you want.

General remarks about using Twitter and staying sane at the same time

What? There is a wrong way to use Twitter?

Of course not, but there will be a red and blue pill in it, and here is why: everybody is talking about Social-Media Automation these days, so I decided to take one of its poster boys for a spin.

red_or_blue_pill_crimson_quill-2-xlarge_trans++1AV4Xi_c1-RBRBJaxWbsj_CMwXDMSn9wenNYVANiOzU

(Courtesy of Wikia)

Yea, I did choose the blue pill.

Neo, the shining hero of the Matrix Universe took the red one, of course. My experiment went on for 14 days, and I chose the great service of SocialQuant (more from these nice people you can find here).

Basically, what they’re doing is plugging you into an Autopilot Twitter on Steroids.

“You will not follow, unfollow anybody, did I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Morpheus,” is all you bear to say.

No joke, they’re doing nearly everything, not only the heavy lifting for you. The only thing they allow you to do  is tweeting on your own. How sweet of you, guys. They followed and unfollowed people and services I’ve never known existed. Very soon, I totally lost grip of my follower base and their likes, direct messages and clicks.

To be honest with you, that really creeped me out quite a bit.

Nonetheless, for sure, it turned out, they did a hell of a job: my follower base increased by 77% in only 14 days. But in the end, my still shivering bones forced me asking Morpheus to provide the red pill instead this time, uh, better. Thank you so much. Don’t get me wrong here. If you are serious about growing your business fast and pushing your brand in no time, then there is no way out of content-marketing automation.

This is what Jeff Bullas pointed out recently in his blog. And boy, this man knows, what he is talking about.

That leads us to, why are you using Twitter in the first place? Sit back, grab a cup of coffee and think about it:

  • What is your purpose on Twitter?
  • Do you honestly want to achieve a personal or professional goal?
  • Is it that you think you want to use Twitter but feel like you’re drowning?

If you choose to reach new heights personally or professionally on Twitter, this guide is for you.

So, why not dive in?

You’re still with me. Very much appreciated, young Padawan! We both know now that you want to reach new highs on Twitter and not be overwhelmed by the constant stream of information on the platform. Likewise, it wouldn’t harm you to become a Twitter Jedi, who will never turn to the dark side. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned dollars on tools that make you famous. Your fame will be hard earned, but your own!

Agreed? Good boy!

“There are as many goals and Twitter strategies as tweets these days, but only one metric of success: Engagement!”

—(Quote by me, sorry Marketing Wizards)

You being successful is based on some fundamental rules you better follow to not shoot your kneecap.

1. Post regularly even during vacation time and weekends.

But don’t over-tweet! Some say, do 3–5; some vote for more. Don’t let that confuse you. Go with what suits you best. Want an example? I’ve seen tweet bursts of ten and more, that showed up in a row even at the tremendously full Twitter timeline.

Speaks for itself, and you get the idea, right?

I knew it, so let’s go on.

2. Reschedule tweets 3 times.

The Master Yoda in marketing, enchantment and former Apple evangelist is, right, Guy Kawasaki.

He promotes the rule of rescheduling tweets 3 times for 3 good reasons actually.

  • Depending on the timezone your audience lives in, they might have no chance at all to see your posts.
  • Even though Twitter is going to change the timeline’s behavior, posts slip by in split-seconds. That’s, why even big publishers of today’s newspapers resurrect their top news more than once.
  • Finally, your audience grows, naturally, if you repost. Just simple, stupid math.

Find out more from the still unmatched Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

3. Let Buffer decide the when of tweeting.

What this indispensable service does is as simple as genius: you put your tweets in their garage, and they will open doors at the right time to let them out.

4. Be distinctive and not too broad.

Bear in mind, you are not the only person in the Twitterverse and others might as well tweet reasonable, good posts. So you need to be specific in reaching out to a targeted audience. Separate apples from pears and stick to it.

Don’t ever tweet about the all-so-cute kittens if you are not in the animal shelter business or want to go mainstream all of a sudden.

(Power-Tip) But adapt fast. During my last month’s I learned, my audiences graves for IoT and especially SaaS.

That is well within my realm, so I immediately did bring up far more valuable content about this topics. A couple of tweets returned more retweets and likes than I ever had before.

5. Use #hashtags wisely.

They should maximize engagement and define your content. As with many things, don’t put too many. Having more than three will bring your engagement rate down by 17%. Consult “The ultimate guide to hashtags on Social Media” for in-depth advice on that topic.

6. Make your tweets vibrant and sexy.

Images, videos, and links don’t help you to stand out by much these days. But they keep you from drowning in the flood of compelling visual post already dominating the Twitter stream.

Use of media in tweets

(Courtesy of AdWeek)

As the geniuses from bitly and Sproutsocial stressed on recently, clicks will increase by 18%. More importantly, nobody wants to retweet you with images missing (increase by 150%). You got the picture, figuratively speaking, right?

7. (Bonus Tip) Add your 2 cents to your tweets.

Making tweets standout anybody? My 2 cents on it goes here. A short personal blurb can be added to start a tweet. It might look like that:

Economics, check, security? — Infographic: The #innovation and #impact of #IoT | http://bit.ly/1XbpVRx

That comments have to be short, like 5–6 words max. Make them catchy, even if it takes time!

Process and platform

Fear not, young Skywalker. This one short and fast will be.

Nonetheless, you need to do your homework. That is incredibly easy with my advice on how to curate content on mobile devices.

  • Curate you favorite content and store it accordingly, if you want it for further reference (strongly recommended).
  • Buffer your curated links regularly and better not let buffer dry out.
  • Reschedule your most popular tweets up to 3 times (buffer again is here convenient like nothing else).

Remember that you can do each of these tasks efficiently on the mobile platform. Especially, if you travel with such an excellent device like an iPad frequently. Even as a road warrior or during vacation, you will not easily fall back too far.

Engagement, Engagement, Engagement

Bear in mind, tweeting is only a small part of the equation!

Far more important is the real action, like gaining followers, getting humans to click your links, retweets and likes. In this particular order. Why on earth should I do that, you ask? Isn’t it enough I did anything to tweet the good stuff? Hell no, unfortunately.

Don’t you remember your Grandma saying, “Don’t expect others to do more than you are willing to do”?

  • You need not necessarily engage with everybody of the Twitterverse, concentrate on the followers or people, you want to follow.
  • Show respect, retweet and like nice tweets of each new follower.
  • Follow the followers if they belong to your realm and say thank you with a nice direct message.
  • List your followers if they belong to key areas of your Twitter mission.
  • Visit your lists frequently and engage with the key people as shown above.

Conclusion

Being successful doesn’t mean you need to sit for hours in front of your computer each day. Isn’t that nice? Using Twitter for a purpose now will mean a lot more to you, because you know how to engage and not miss out on what Twitter really is about.

Stick to your Twitter vision and your rules and don’t try to be somebody else. Find the right tone and being supportive and empathetic on Twitter is likewise important.

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