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Well, my 30-day Twitter experiment has officially run its course, and I’ve learned a lot of things along the way. So, 140 Tweets and 67 followers later, here are five lessons learned from a Twitter newbie.
1. Far and away the biggest lesson learned during my 30 days is that Twitter is a huge time commitment. In preparing for my experiment, I read up on some Twitter best practices, and found really good advice on content from social media guru Scott Stratten. He says Twitter users should roughly aim for the following ratio in terms of content: one third your own thoughts/comments/article shares, one third re-tweets, and one third communicating directly with other users. The re-tweets and communicating directly with others came pretty naturally to me, but when I’m busy, Tweeting original content dropped to the bottom of my list of priorities. Sure, I’m always consuming news and information, but not everything is Tweet-worthy, and I don’t want to get into the business of sharing things just for the sake of sharing things. Finding and sharing content that will be relevant to your audience takes a lot of time. We tell our clients that they need a dedicated person to run their social media accounts, and I stand by that statement even more after experiencing it firsthand.
2. Building followers admittedly continues to perplex me. I’ve heard from multiple people that the key to building followers is sharing good content on a regular basis. This makes sense in theory, but for me the true lesson learned is that what’s “good content” seems to vary from person to person. Some people with a huge amount of followers Tweet about EVERYTHING. This kind of oversharing really turns me off, but obviously their hundreds of followers disagree with me. So, yet another lesson I’m learning about building followers: find your own voice and niche (oversharing optional), engage with other users, and let your audience grow naturally. I have no idea if 67 followers in 30 days is good or not, but it’s a start, and I realize that patience is essential when trying to build an audience.
3. Don’t take it personally when a fellow user forgets to mention you when you should be mentioned. I’ve been both the culprit of this and on the receiving end. According to one of our internal social media gurus, this happens all the time and isn’t necessarily a virtual snub.
4. I really need a new phone that makes Tweeting away from my computer easier.
5. And finally, Twitter can be really entertaining (case in point: Bronx Zoo Cobra or #WSbathroomlearning).
There are lots of other takeaways I’m left with after the past 30 days, but I’d like to leave those for other posts. I’m still learning along the way and definitely don’t think I’m a Twitter expert at this point. So, let the experiment continue!