I did not believe in Twitter for a very long time. I thought it was meaningless and impersonal. What kind of thoughtful message you can put in 140 characters? I was convinced that Twitter was created to satisfy human vanity. I thought people who were using it were doing it solely for self-promotion purposes. I thought no one gave a rat’s patootie about what other people have to say. I thought that some people did not know what to say but tweeted anyway.
One day my perception of Twitter started to change. A few things happened. I joined the Yakezie challenge (again) and started following people that I was genuinely interested in following. Then, out of the blue, I started having conversations over Twitter and, unexpectedly for myself, I started getting to know people. I started following some newspapers and magazines, and the latest news in the world became available to me at a stretch of my hand. Twitter suddenly gained meaning.
You Don’t Have To Follow Everyone Who Follows You. Be Selective.
It is a very simple notion but a lot of people feel obligated to follow everyone who follows them. You don’t have to be THAT polite. I don’t follow everyone who follows me. First, there are a lot of spammers in the Twitterverse. Second, I simply might not be interested in following you because after I checked out your tweets, I concluded that you are not really my cup of tea. Sorry!
Never Read Home Feed. Make Your Own Lists
Reading Twitter home feed can drive anyone insane. I tried to read the home feed diligently and somewhat obsessively. The result of these readings were always the same: I was not just frustrated with all the tweets, I was infuriated.
Someone advised me to start creating lists of people whose tweets I was actually interested to read. Those lists of mine that I created saved the day. Now, I am reading my lists without even a glance at the home feed. Life in the Twitterverse became much easier. Following people became fun.
Don’t Be Afraid To Jump Into A Conversation
People like to talk. People like to share a few personal things here and there. Sometimes they start conversations. Sometimes I feel like I have something to say too, so I jump into these conversations. What is the worst thing that can happen? People can ignore you. What is the best thing that can happen? You might discover a new interesting blog to read such as Young and Thrifty. You might get the latest news about someone quitting a job such as Yes, I am Cheap. How bad can starting a conversation really be?
Use Hashtags. A lot.
If you are interested in something or someone, you have to use hashtags. I am using a few hashtags and, in fact, I even created a couple of lists following certain hash tags. For example, one of the hashtags that I follow is #yakezie.
If you use a hashtag, your tweets get better exposure because people who are using and following the same hashtag will be able to read your tweet as well.
You Can Get Quality Traffic From Twitter
I always thought that getting traffic from Twitter was an urban myth until I looked at my blog statistics and was surprised to see that Twitter is one of the top ten referral sites. People who come from Twitter usually spend at least 3-5 minutes on my site, reading and browsing. I consider it a quality traffic because those people invest their time into my blog.
I am still trying to get a handle on Twitter. I am sure there is much more to it than what I shared with you. But for now, I think, I am doing okay.