What I hear from folks (all the time!) is that they don’t get Twitter or they’re on it and they’re not getting anything out of it.
So when I read this email from @Biz, @Ev, and @Jack co-founders of Twitter http://twitter.com, and saw these four basic tips for you to improve your experience on Twitter in 2011, I knew I should pass them on.
1) Follow your interests.
The Twitter founders say they’ve found that the people who enjoy Twitter most tend to follow a variety of accounts: friends, family, people in their profession, local shops and events, and most importantly, people who share their passions.
That’s true for me, too! I follow about 1200 people, many of them social media savvy and from the wine industry, but I also follow poets, and travelers, and artists… a wide range of people who share content of interest to me.
2) Get specific. Like sports? Follow your favorite leagues, teams, players, coaches, commentators, writers and fellow fans. Love food? Follow chefs, restaurants, critics, bloggers, specialty shops and respected foodies.
As I said above, I follow a number of my interests, but a lot of it is related to wine and social media. My husband, who does not have a Twitter account, went to Twitter first to see if I was posting anything on it while I was in Egypt (and yes, he did find a tweet or two and a link to a some photos!) From there, he went to various hashtags (#) on topics of his interest. He’s gone back to Twitter to find out about specific events or people and he’s surprised to find out how useful it is.
3) Don’t panic. People turn to Twitter during emergencies. Snowstorms, power outages and fires are just a few emergencies where Twitter may be helpful. Search for #hashtags and follow local civic accounts to stay informed.
This is similar to my husband’s approach–turning to Twitter for specific information. You don’t have to have an account or follow anyone or be followed in order to use Twitter.
4) Return to Twitter. There are about 200 million accounts on Twitter now – that means new interests, new voices, and new ideas every day. Twitter offers services in seven languages, apps for most devices, and SMS worldwide.
The truth is, while there may be 200 million accounts on Twitter (according to Twitter), but most of them are barely active or they fall into the “This is what I had for lunch” and “I’m bored” and “I’m at the gym” etc type tweets. Just ignore the content that doesn’t interest you. It’s not necessary to judge a whole social media platform based on how some people use it.
Curious if you have any Twitter “clout”? Want to know how to get more?
Since I’ve been tracking my Klout score, it’s ranged as low as the 30s and as high as the 40s and my influence is consistent in the 70th percentile. (Update: these days (October 2011) it’s consistently in the low 60s–check it and see!)
Three ways to raise your Klout:
1) Tweet consistently and participate. In January, I was offline for more than half the month since I was traveling without internet access in Baja Mexico, Egypt and the mountain of California. My score sunk!
2) Do a little Twitter house cleaning by using Twitter Karma to see who follows you back. I found about 200 people who don’t and weren’t providing much in the way of valuable content to me so I unfollowed most of them and my score went up. Now what I need to do is follow the people who have faithfully followed me and who deserve to be followed back.