There are so many people frustrated with Twitter because they aren't sure how it works and what they are supposed to be doing on it. I totally get this. It can be confusing because the majority of what I see is constant self-promotion. That is not the purpose of Twitter.
While it's very natural and easy for some to jump in and feel right at home with Twitter, other's struggle to understand it's purpose. I hope to enlighten you today and later offer you some simple "Get Started" tips.
Twitter is an ongoing conversation
--or at least it should be. Unfortunately, many have strayed from that and made it all about promoting. Promoting product, posts, people. We've forgotten to be present, instead, putting everything on a schedule. So when I go to reply to a tweet, no one is there to answer.
Twitter is a place to connect with people...
...not advertise them to death. If you are looking to expand sales or gain new clients, the best way to do this is to connect with them and offer free advice. Sort of a sampling of the bigger picture of what you're offering. But don't bombard people's streams with ads or never be there to respond/engage with potential customers.
Tweets have a lifespan of about 60 seconds.
After that, they are pushed down by more tweets. So it's important to remain engaged consistently. Not constantly. But consistently. When you sit down to converse on Twitter, plan on sitting longer then sending a mere promo tweet out. Rather, interact with those who ask questions, or ask questions yourself. Share useful information. Spend 15 minutes or 30 minutes there. Tweet only when you're available to respond.
Jump into the conversation and offer valuable input.
Simply tweet information that would be useful to your followers. What do you blog about? Tweet about that. Don't always include a link. Any time a link is included, it's considered a promotion. Promotions aren't bad, unless they fill up your stream. Engagement should far outweigh tweets with links that pull the tweeter away from Twitter.
Twitter has been called "micro blogging" before, but I find it more like a large chat room, filled with lots of people. Your job is to mingle with people and get to know them. Help meet a need. People need to know they matter. Show your followers they matter by engaging with them.
If you are just starting out on Twitter (or have had a dormant account), be patient. It takes time. But do find people to follow to make it easier to join in the conversation.
In the next post I will share some of the tools you need to get the most out of Twitter. It makes following people easier and more visible.
What questions do you have about Twitter that I have not addressed here?
To follow conversations with me on writing as a mother, use hashtag #momswrite