August 08, 2012
/ by ckettmann
Twitter has become one of the most important and widely used social media platforms in the world. With users from many regions around the world, Twitter has allowed for millions of people to connect to each other. For anyone with a Twitter account, the goal is pretty much the same; get followers and share a message. In this post, I’ll focus specifically on the first point, gaining followers. Gaining followers is difficult enough, but grows even more tough when you realize that instead of growing your base, it is shrinking. There is a pretty simple reason why this happens: People don’t like following you anymore. Sometimes this is an issue of people wanting to keep their numbers down so it looks like more people follow them than they follow. But more often than not, it’s because you are routinely taking part in some of annoying habits followers get tired of. So what are these habits, and how you can fix it?
Spelling This is one thing that many people are on the fence about, but just because you have a character limit doesn’t mean you can’t use those characters effectively. When I follow someone that consistently writes gibberish that I can’t decode, I make the decision to not follow them anymore. It’s understandable that you want to get as much across as you can in 140 characters, but make sure it’s comprehensible. If you have to, break your tweet apart, or look into TwitLonger, a service that lets you exceed the limit. Whatever steps you take, just make sure your messages are understandable, and not garbled mess.
#Don’t #Hashtag #Everything I understand the point of hashtagging, and for the most part don’t have a problem with it. It is a good way to start a thread or open up a trend to speak on. What is problematic, however, is when every tweet you have is hashtagged, more specifically over hashtagged. I understand you have something to say on a topic, but when there are three or more tagged phrases, it looks awful. It somewhat correlates with the above topic, because overly tagging posts makes your tweets almost unreadable. Again, adding conversation to a trending topic is okay, but stick to that. Don’t start up your own hashtags that clearly relate only to you. It comes off a little arrogant, and it’s clear to your followers that it’s not a real trending topic.
Constant Updates We all understand the purpose of Twitter, mainly that you can go through your day and give little updates. For the most part, that is fine. Your friends and followers will like to see what you’re up to, but there’s a limit on the information they want. Constant updates will vex any follower. There is nothing worse than having one person filling up your Twitter stream, especially if it’s with information we couldn’t care less about. More importantly, not everything you do is Tweet-worthy, so please filter yourself. I don’t need to know that your stomach is upset, or that you’re using the bathroom, and honestly, you shouldn’t feel a need to tell everyone. There is a nice balance between being a good, responsible Tweeter, and being an spout of unimportant information.
RT @Use Your Own Words We all like to share messages that we find funny, important, and provocative. It’s nice to share others’ words in support of the person you’re following or when a tweet resonates with you. However, this can be overdone. When followers realize that you are only regurgitating information from other users, it gets annoying. People are following you for your insight and knowledge. If you constantly retweet, one of two things will happen. Users will not want to read only the musings of people you’re following, or they will enjoy it very much and opt to follow them over you. It’s nice to share the thoughts of others but make sure that a majority of your content is from you.
Tweeting Promotions With the advent of Twitter, there has been a huge marketing aspect incorporated in its use. Not only do companies post sponsored messages, but some places will have drawings and giveaways, and tweeting links enhances your chance. When you partake in this, it’s easy to come off as spammy. Your tweets are filled with auto-generated messages, and links to a company that may or may not be legit. Users will think you are spamming them, and in turn will stop following you. If you are interested in participating in contests similar to the ones I am describing, you may want to consider using Facebook where you have enough room to explain that it’s a contest, and sharing the link helps you out. On Twitter, there is not enough room to do this, and can ultimate hurt your Twitter presence.
So by following this simple rules, you should be able to keep your followers. Hopefully you will also be able to gain a few along the way, but in the meantime, focus on keeping your followers happy. Twitter is a very unique and useful tool, so don’t abuse it to the point it no longer serves its purpose for you.
About the Author: Jordan Mendys is a multimedia and social blogger from North Carolina. He blogs for satellite providers out of North Carolina. In his free time he is a freelance photographer and filmmaker.
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