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Five Things Everyone Should Know About Twitter

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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.

Comments (33)

  • I use twitter but I do follow a lot of your suggestions. I think my follow to follower ratio is 1:5 or so.

  • The lists and following hash tags are a big draw for me. It’s helped me organize so that there’s not too much information coming in.

  • How very interesting. I just started figuring some if this out; where were you two months ago?

  • All good tips. I try to do all these things.

  • I am terrible with Twitter and need to put your suggestions to work. I follow the Yakezie list, but probably should make my own.

    • Yes, make your own list, include me, and jump into conversations! I can’t wait for you to start doing all of this! 😉

  • I used to be involved with Twitter a lot but not so much these days. I really did like the hash tags…

  • Before I started blogging, I thought Twitter was the dumbest thing ever. Like Facebook, but with only status updates! BORING!

    When I actually started using it, I got hooked on jumping into random conversations and saying silly stuff to people. Now, if I’m online, you can bet I’m logged on to Twitter. Usually when I hear someone say Twitter doesn’t work for them, I assume they are only using it for promotion instead of having fun with it. Twitter is consistently my #1 source of referral traffic now. #lovingit 🙂

  • I ignored Twitter for a long time too! I still don’t tweet very often but I’m trying to get better about it.

  • I really like your suggestion to jump into a conversation. I was always afraid to do that,it felt like an invasion but now I think the more people chatting the better. I used to be in the Twitter is dumb category too but I find it to be more fun than any other social tool.

    • I felt the same way! I always was thinking and questioning myself and telling myself that people don’t even know me, how can I jump into someone’s coversation. Now, I am just having fun and it works! After all, twitter can be fun. 🙂

  • I know the power of twitter. Each of my tweets brings 3-4 clicks to my blog. That idea of creating a list to follow is a massive one. I took some time to realize that

  • I like reading my home feed – it is now my main source for news and articles!

  • I used to feel the same way about twitter (wary) but now I love it!

    It’s a great way to have conversation and relate to people and gain friends 🙂

    I think it’s my favourite social media outlet so far.

    I need to learn to make a list (I have unfortunately had to delete some people who were on “auto tweet” and filled up my entire tweet list!!)

    • I actually noticed that I started liking Twitter much more than Facebook. It seems that it is becoming more personal to me.

  • Great post! I completely agree with you.

    I too was dragging my heels, trying to avoid getting on Twitter, but it is really a much more powerful tool than I ever realized and I wish I had signed up sooner.

    I was so overwhelmed at first with the the timeline and trying to keep up with everyone and everything but it is impossible. I love using the lists as you suggest especially to keep up to date on my fellow bloggers 😉

    • I think it takes time for people to get handle on Twitter. It took forever for me. The best thing that happened to me was when I expressed my frustrations publicaly and got amazingly great advice on how to use Twitter. I wish someone would have a manual!

  • Oh man, I felt just like you! I thought twitter was such a waste. Only after FINCON and meeting everyone in person did I realize how truly interactive it was. The sad thing is, because I am not consistently on there, I can tell I am missing so much! I am hoping to change that, and use some of your tips – especially the lists!

    • If you start using lists, you will see the difference. No information overload. It will be more fun. I promise! 🙂

  • Great tips. Wow you are a Twitter guru in just a matter of months! I think I am too polite with the follows. But it is a little addicting, boosting your follower count.

    • I am not a Twitter guru. I am still learning. But what I’ve learned so far benefited me greately. So, I thought I’d share!

  • i have to start utilizing hashtags more often. i think i haven’t spent enough time on twitter to justify anything. maybe a new years resolution item for me.

  • I still need to learn more about the hastags. I don’t know what it is and what it can do.

  • I mostly just use it to share articles I like as well as my own site articles. There is just too much volume to check out everything that’s going on.

  • I have a twitter account but like a lot of other people I find it a waste of a time merely because I don’t use it efficiently. I have no clue on how to set up lists. And I have way too many people that I follow. Think I will put “Learn to Twitter” on my list of to do’s.

    • If you want to learn how to set up lists, email me (you can use Contact Me page) and I will walk you through. It is easy and very helpful. Otherwise, Twitter can be very overwhelming.

  • I really suck at Twitter. I keep trying though and eventually I’ll get better. I didn’t know that you could create lists of certain people, that would save me so much time. 🙂

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