I would say I have learned quite a bit about Twitter, almost enough to not have even scratched the surface yet. I have met some pretty neat people along the way which is perhaps the best thing. I have mentioned in other posts how years ago I was so turned off by my experience on Twitter I logged out for years. There really are some great, genuine people out there, fortunately I have met a few of them and they have enriched my life. That is good stuff and yes I find that inspiring. So I figured it's time to update the social media file and talk about...
Let me start with a clarification. Some of these clever people have been tagging me in straight up nonsense posts, the current version of buy followers or like my Facebook page. These are unsolicited and from people I don't even know. I am not talking about this.
I have a couple of friends I met on Twitter. Initially I would tag them when I was sending out a tweet in order to be sure they saw it. I thought of it as bringing their attention to something for a specific reason. Kind of like "Hey Tee take a look at this!" The other thing I could be certain of is, if I tagged them, they would most often retweet it. I still can and they know if they tag me in anything I will retweet as well. So what right? So a lot. I began to notice a difference between tweets I tagged people in and ones I did not. Even the ones which were not even retweeted. If you have been using Twitter for awhile I would suggest looking at your analytics. If you are just getting started, visit it as soon as you get a feel for what is going on. I will caution you here it is a bottomless pit. Be careful. My friends know I live by my stats but I find it is an effective tool to see what works and what doesn't. I am interested in getting my blog in front of as many eyes as I can for myself and guest authors. Knowing this is my aim, I want to maximize the tweets I use to promote it.
Increase your exposure.
Back to the analytics. One of the key terms measured is impressions. Essentially how many people saw the tweet. Let me break it down. I have 1000 followers and send a tweet one time. Of these 1000 followers maybe a handful actually see the tweet. Lets say my impressions were 20. Twenty people saw the tweet. This is perhaps a stupidly generous number and likely would not be this high. In general, the numbers would be higher on many messages which were tagged with a friend. I can not explain exactly why and it is far from a rule but a noticeable trend. By the time they actually retweet the message, they have increased the potential of my tweet being seen at least by their followers as well. Of course it's not that simple but it helps demonstrate what I am talking about. A better extreme example, let's say M Lemont with his 150000 followers just retweeted my tweet. There is a pretty good chance that really added to my impressions. You can see how a retweet can increase the exposure. The right retweet can make things go pretty crazy. I was looking through my stats one day and one of my tweets had a huge number next to it. I had to look. An actor who may or may not have to do with a famous zombie show tweeted one of my blog posts and it received a ridiculous amount of impressions. Kind of fun when that happens. Kind of fun are you kidding me? I was thrilled. Also, this was a post maybe two months old at the time, read on to see why this matters.
Encourages others to follow.
Back to business. OK so we are talking about tagging friends. The other thing I find on this subject is this, if one of my friends tags me and someone else in a tweet, I instinctively follow the other person. We might even have a conversation but at a minimum I have followed. I can say I have followed many hundred people based on them being part of a tweet. The status of them following back is a whole other subject. I still don't understand anyone trying to do anything on Twitter and not having a very liberal follow back policy. Just doesn't make any sense. Good or bad it's what I do and I cannot be the only one. So I would say, if your friend tags you in a tweet be grateful, they are exposing you to their whole network. Thank you. Obviously this is not the same as the people who tag you in a promotion or something like that, I am talking about your friends.
Here is another reason to tag someone in a tweet. Let's say my friend, (I am saying friend here intentionally and not in the Facebook sense), has met someone they want me to meet, she tags us both and next thing we know we are all having a conversation and singing Beatles songs together. That is good stuff and we must have had something in common or she would not have put us together in the same room with a record player right?
Make sure I see it.
I personally prefer my friends to tag me in a tweet for more than one reason. The main one is this - I will most likely see it. If one of my friends has a new post I want to know about it so I can read it. The chance of a close acquaintance's tweet coming up in my feed at the exact moment I am looking at it is nearly impossible. Do the math, it is pretty unlikely. Yes, you can set up lists, watch lists and all kinds of things to try to achieve this. If that works for you more power to you, maybe you can teach me some day. It doesn't really work for me.
The next thing I feel a need to share is this. Recycling. I think it was some time in August, Sheri did a guest post on self publishing. It took off like gangbusters and was read by thousands of people. I send it out every once in awhile now and guess what? People still read it. It is still relevant and even though thousands of people read it in August, many millions did not. It is fresh to them. Another author even republished it last week on his blog to do with his publishing journey. This is an article several months old. So what? I have heard so many people say they don't want to tweet or share too much. Balderdash. Of course you have to do what is right for you and what you have time for but I tweet continuously and have not found the point of too much so far. We have made quite an effort to collect a body of good stuff to read and it is not a one time use thing. That relevant post you wrote may still have legs. Ask another friend, Michele, about her Cinderella guest post here. I was starting to feel guilty about continuing to post it, but guess what? Every time it goes out people are reading it and commenting and making Michele blush like a little girl all over again. The story is still inspiring people, why throw it away? I promise to retire it when its legs fall off but there is no end in sight. If it is good material it doesn't have a shelf life as far as I am concerned, and the statistics back my opinion. This does bring up my final reason for now of why to tag someone in a tweet.
Keep everyone involved.
I host a decent share of guest authors. This is a great opportunity for everyone involved and some incredibly good things have occurred as a byproduct of these posts. When I publish a guest post and tweet it for example, the author will have no idea I am tweeting it right? Unless they are camped out on my feed. I intentionally tag the author on some of the tweets to include them in the aftermath. As people are making comments or retweets, the original author is involved and can see what is going on and comment or interact as it unfolds. This is especially vital on a guest post, I love the feedback but I didn't actually write the post. I look at this as my desire to interact with people and I love it when someone gives me feedback on something I wrote. Even better? When an actual conversation starts and who knows where that can lead... many good places.
Since I am updating the Twitter file - I am still getting deluged with these idiotic DMs upon follow soliciting me for something. I still have not followed a link to someone's Facebook page. I am all for the "don't know until you ask" principal but why are people doing this? Maybe I will be enlightened to find out it really does work and I have been missing out on bolstering my Facebook likes for all this time... in the meantime I have a feature on my Twitter which has been made irrelevant. Direct Messages.