Why You Should Be Twittering More

Posted by: www.1918.com

Not everyone in your business gets it. When they walk by your desk and see you looking at Facebook or Twitter they sneer, or even say, “get back to work.”

They don’t “get it”, because you are working!

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The social media space is becoming more important everyday. You can tell it’s gaining influence because traditional marketers are now spamming it in hopes of proving some ROI plan they sold to their boss.

Recently, activity on Twitter crashed servers with an overwhelming surge of traffic and has been dubbed The Twitter Effect.

How could a single tweet generate that much traffic?

First of all, of course it was a big factor that Pete Cashmore is one of the people on Twitter with the most followers (people who have subscribed to his tweets). According to Twitterholic, he has more than 50,000 followers.

But the key here may not be just the number of followers of the initial tweeter, but the retweets. A retweet is when a Twitter user resends a message so that his/her own followers can share it. Pete Cashmore was the most retweeted Twitter user during the period when the affected blog went down (according to Retweetist).

In that case, the tweet was:

“Reading: “How to use Twitter to find your next job” – http://tinyurl.com/8n8bm8

Clearly a hot topic put forward by a respected member of the Twitter community. Of course, don’t overlook the good work done by Michael Litman who came up with a powerful title for his post, good social media is usually tightly intertwined with good seo/sem.

So how do you become a bright light within the Twitterati? It takes time and work. One of the best analogies I have come across was by Todd Defren at SHIFT communications. He talks about entering the arena the same way you would enter the neighborhood block party if you had just moved into the neighborhood.

You’d hang back a little, insert yourself mildly into a wedge of conversation, and ingratiate yourself. You’d be a gentleman.

And yet there might still be moments of awkwardness. All the neighbors already know each other. There are cliques. There’s context, politics and in-jokes to figure out. You wouldn’t expect to be the life of the party right away. But, you knew that going in… so, to help grease the skids, you brought some nice bottles of wine and some of your killer BBQ ribs.

Can you dedicate 2 minutes out of each hour to check twitter? That would only be 16 minutes in an average work day, you probably spend more time than that figuring out where to go for lunch.

Start slowly by following people you respect in your area, or your business. For example if you are a newspaper in Raleigh, you might want to check out twitterholic and see who the top tweeters are. You could even use something like TwitterLocal to see who might be worth following that tweets less often, nearby tweets shows you who is tweeting all around you right now.

Once you get an idea of the ebb and flow within Twitter, you can start contributing. Don’t start selling your site, start selling yourself. You are someone who contributes good stuff. You add to the conversation. When you respond to others, help them, they will allow you in. They will “follow” you. Once real people start to follow you because they think you add something valuable, you have made progress.

If you were a newsie and could retweet (RT) that you your followers quickly, they would have been impressed. You probably would have picked up a few new followers.

Another bonus is that you are sometimes privy to information that slips out via Twitter. You might even come across a Tweet from the head of the BBC newsroom, Peter Horrocks, to the director of global news, Richard Sambrook about some new appointments at the BBC that were meant to stay private.

Then comes the next hard question. Michael Gray had a great tweet a while ago:

For all those people out there who want more followers on twitter what will you do with them, for them or to them when they follow you

If you had 50,000 tweeple following you, what would you do with them?

Whatever you answer is, that’s the reason you should be twittering more.

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