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3 Twitter Misconceptions

Social media, and Twitter in particular, has proven to be a powerful tool for brands and individuals to connect in real-time and develop strong communities. Though it’s obvious what the positive results can be with effective social media programs, the keyword is effective, as in done correctly.

There are some major misconceptions when it comes to Twitter as part of your social media program, here are a few basic ones:

  1. Follower count is the be-all, end-all. Not really. While increasing your follower count should absolutely be a goal and can be used as a progress marker, the number alone shouldn’t be your sole focus. You’ve got to balance your efforts to simply grow your following with the amount of quality followers you’re adding. The amount of, quality of and level of engagement is crucial to building a successful community. By cultivating quality brand advocates vs. cluttering your pool with spammy “users,” you create an environment that is not only loyal (and active), but can also self-moderate. In other words, it’s possible to build such a community where you, the community manager/social media guru/etc., doesn’t always have to step in to settle issues…those wonderful, loyal followers will handle some of it for you. Check out @chrisabraham‘s thoughts on the “circle of success.”
  2. Once someone becomes a “follower” your work is done. While getting someone to click that green “Follow” button is a good milestone in the process of building your community, you can’t stop there. You’ll need to continue to engage your followers to grow an attentive and loyal community. Similarly to misconception #1, the quality of your followers + their level of engagement provides more value that a high number of silent followers.
  3. RTs = sufficient engagement. Retweets are a great way to start or get involved with conversations, but offer commentary and your point of view to make your involvement valuable and meaningful. This will not only continue the dialogue and help you make connections with other participants, but will further establish your position as a thought leader and will show that you’re listening and have something to say. @Garin has some great “Golden Rules” for Twitter and @CoachLaura shares some easy tips for RTs.

What other Twitter misconceptions have you seen or heard of?

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