This post was originally supposed to focus on ‘creating your own personal Social Media strategy.’
It then evolved to become the ‘Frank Sinatra approach to Social Media’ – based on my firm belief that each day you should sit back and say ‘I did it my way.’
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I reminded myself that this Blog is ‘the place to raise YOUR voice’ – whether you’re an individual or a brand / organisation – and that the majority of these posts are supposed to reflect that promise.
So, I had a little look through my @ replies this week and noticed that many of my conversations revolved around the little things you can do to improve your Twitter experience.
And here we are!
Ten Tiny Twitter Tweaks That’ll Transform Your Twitterverse (and yes, I tried desperately to create a headline of words all beginning with ‘T’ but alas…I’ve tried again below…)
Generally when someone follows me, I’ll take a look at there Twitter profile page to see if they’re talking about the things I’m interested in and whether I should follow them back.
So, make it ‘easy and obvious’ to your visitors as to what you are about.
Tiny Tweak: Use simple font / design schemes, and always (always) ensure the colors used are contrasting – there is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to read someone’s bio that is written in dark grey text on a black background.
Again, consider simplifying or streamlining your primary ‘topics of conversation’ – especially to begin with – so your ‘audience’ knows what to expect…and then gradually branch out.
Tiny Tweak: Take the Nike brand for example. In 1972 it started out as a sports brand, designed predominantly for athletes. Once it had established it’s core following, it branched out to become the lifestyle giant it is today…not a bad approach.
3. Talk ‘to’ Tim
So, you’ve decided to follow @TimWhitlock – Tim’s flattered but isn’t quite sure why you’re following him…hmmm…
Tony Tweak: Send Tim an @ message saying ‘hello and why you’ve started following him’ – I liken it to being at a party, it’s polite to introduce yourself when you arrive.
Again, another simple way to get more out of Twitter is to establish a tone of voice that works for you.
There is no right or wrong way to ‘be’ on Twitter – the best approach is to be you, be real and be passionate (within reason obviously, you are, after all, part of a ‘community’).
Tiny Tweak: Take a look back at your Tweets for the last seven days and evaluate your tone – keep that evaluation in mind for the next seven days and see if there’s been a change…sometimes a mini-review is all you need.
5. Tweet Length
I feel a little conflicted about this one.
The ‘rule’ (which is probably why I have a problem with it) is that your Tweets should not be any longer than 120 characters, enabling others to Re-Tweet you in an easier fashion (add RT @AdamVincenzini and wave good bye to 17 characters).
But who says Twitter is just about being ‘Re-Tweeted’?
Tiny Tweak: Content first, characters second.
Firstly, why #tag?
Well, Twitter is about conversations and tagging your Tweets by topic / subject matter makes it easier for people to engage in conversations of interest.
Tiny Tweak: Avoid putting #tags on either side of a link as they can be hard to distinguish on some Twitter clients – I like to use ‘//’ in between #tags and links to make them easier to spot.
I read a great post the other day which essentially said you shouldn’t Tweet unless you have a Blog.
Because no matter how hard you try you’re going to have to explain something (at some point!) in more than 140 characters.
Tiny Tweak: Now, not everyone has time for a full blown Blog, but streamlined versions like Tumblr or Posterous are very easy to maintain and give you a place to send people for more information if required…very handy.
8. Twhirl by Seesmic
Generally, people start off using Twitter via Twitter.com and then graduate to the more sophisticated clients / tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite, which are both incredibly useful…especially for the more fanatical Tweeters.
However, in a similar fashion to Tumblr, there are some ‘middle ground’ options which make Twitter a more enriching experience but also less time consuming.
Tiny Tweak: Try Twhirl by Seesmic for a week or so – it’s light, unobtrusive way of integrating Twitter into your day.
There are so many tools out there to help you ‘improve’ your Twitter activity.
However, like any form of communication, the best ones involve providing you with insights as to how you are performing against your objectives.
Tiny Tweak: Clearly establish your Tweeting objectives first, and play with the shiny toys later.
Twitter is such a new medium that it’s impossible to say there is an absolutely concrete way of doing things.
In fact, all forms of communication never remain entirely static because the users (yes, us, human beings) constantly evolve.
Tiny Tweak: Don’t be afraid to try new things. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it isn’t brilliant. Trust your instincts and give things a go.
I hope you found that useful…and theoretically, this type of thinking can be transferred to brands / organisations using Twitter…often the most subtle of changes can make the biggest impact.
If you have any ‘Tiny Twitter Tweaks’ to share, pop ’em in the box below.
Coming up next on the Blog is the weekly wrap of the week’s most useful social media and PR posts (Friday), as well as my insights into week two of life minus newspapers (Saturday).