Last year, I was invited to be a contestant in Blog-Off II, a blogging competition to find the best social media and marketing experts. Although I wasn’t selected as a winner, it was a great experience which gave me an opportunity to connect with and learn from some really outstanding bloggers. Today I’d like to share one of the posts I wrote for the competition.
There are a lot of people who just don’t get Twitter. I understand that. After all, your introduction to the site probably involved a visit to the Twitter home page, which doesn’t really give you much of an idea of what it’s all about, or to someone’s profile, which often seems like a bunch of random comments full of strange characters and acronyms.
Despite that, someone may have convinced you to sign up anyway, and now you just don’t know what to type into that little box that’s asking you “What’s happening?”
If you take a look at what other people are doing, you’ll start to see several typical kinds of tweets. Here are some of the ways I’ve seen people using Twitter over the last day or so:
@HSPCliff: #HSP alert. Don’t get upset by mistakes. No matter how smart you are, you’ll never know everything. There’s always something new to learn. (Tweet Type #1: motivational)
@HouseandHome: Get free design tips and exclusive offers in our eNewsletter http://bit.ly/45ZLds (Tweet Type #2: promotional)
@organizedhome: I just wanted to say thanks to all my twitter friends. Just check stats on my blog. You are all so supportive. Thank you! (Tweet Type #3: appreciation)
@garagerev: Website for my new business has just gone live. http://www.handmadewoodworks.com (Tweet Type #4: announcement)
@Letscooktonight: Just made a recipe from my cookbook. Sausage pepper & onion heroes. MMMM tasted great. (Tweet Type #5: casual chatter)
@ProsperbyDesign: Do you have a daily SUCCESS PRACTICE or HABIT you can share? I write My Brilliant Today each day, and say 5+ thank yous! (Tweet Type #6: initiating a discussion)
I’ve included the user names here to show that even seemingly non-business tweets are often related to the tweeter’s area of expertise, and you’ll notice that most of these messages are at least a little bit self-promoting. Let’s face it; most of us are using Twitter as a marketing tool, but if you don’t want your followers to just skip over your tweets or, even worse, to stop following you, you need to be careful that your tweets don’t look like a running stream of ads. One of the cool things about social media is that it allows us to be authentic, so take advantage of that and let your personality shine through! On the other hand, don’t try so hard to show your human side that you bore people or put them off by sharing too much information. No one’s really interested in your baby’s poop! (Tweet Type #7: mundane chatter)
It’s important to remember that Twitter isn’t about throwing out random promotional messages and hoping they get noticed – it’s about engaging in conversations. You need to take some time to read and reply to what other people are saying, especially if they ask a question. (Tweet Type #8: replying to someone else’s tweet)
Another popular way to let someone know that you read and liked what they said is to pass it on to your own followers, often with your own comment added. (Tweet Type #9: the retweet)
Twitter can also be a great platform to ask your own requests for information you need for a project, upcoming trip, or just about anything else. (Tweet Type #10: asking a question)
I’ve just shown you ten different types of tweets, which I hope you’ll find helpful the next time you’re stuck for something to say on Twitter, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of the possibilities! I’d love to hear some of the creative types of tweets that you’ve seen or have posted yourself – I’m sure we can get this list up to 20!