I was at the STS spring conference when a guy approached me and said, “I think I understand Facebook, but why would anyone care what I Tweet?” That stopped me cold, because if you’ve been reading my column, I think everybody cares about everything I say. In fact, I was talking to my therapist the other day about this very thing, and after he woke up, he said, “Well of course I care, dear.”
That’s the kind of treatment I get, and I’m paying him.
But here’s the thing about Twitter that makes it matter – it appeals to people because the way we communicate has fundamentally shifted. We are in a scanning world. We scan headlines, read the first paragraph and move on.
This culture shift is reflected in food, too. Do you remember a time when you would call a bakery five days ahead of your kid’s birthday and order a whole birthday cake? They’d bake it to order and decorate it especially for you. Then you’d drive to the bakery and pick it up, hide it carefully from the precious one and bring it out as if it were the holy grail. Ta da! Who would have thought?!?
Then the grocery stores put bakeries in the corner by the dairy products, and you could just walk up and point to one that looked close to OK and have them squirt your child’s name on there with some jelly-looking stuff.
Now we buy cupcakes.
It’s a cupcake world because a whole cake is too much of a commitment.
That’s what Twitter is like. Twitter is a cupcake. It’s one thought, a link to an article or a picture and you’re out. That’s about all we can take today because we are, each of us, hit with about 3,000 advertising messages every day. We just don’t have the time or the attention span for more.
If you’re keeping up with the Social Hierarchy of Needs, which I introduced to you two months ago, you’ll notice that Twitter is on the foundational level with Facebook. That’s because I think Twitter is the perfect complement to Facebook. It’s easy to Tweet about the content on your Facebook page and link back to it through Bit.ly links (read more about that in the Potluck Guide).
Facebook is your home, and Twitter is your mouthpiece.
The Twitter volume is pretty loud right now. It has increased more than 10 times in the past 12 months. That’s about 50 million tweets sent every day. So, does what you have to say matter? Well, yes dear, if you’re interesting – and that is the key to growing any relationship. Be interesting, or you’ll be alone.
Here are a few tips from the Potluck Guide to Social Media that can help you as you learn to use Twitter.
- Update Twitter more often than Facebook. If you are a small company, shoot for 4-5 times per day (as opposed to 1-2 times for Facebook). If you’re a big company, better ramp it up to 10+. Why? The volume is so high that you will roll off the first screen zippy quick.
- And nobody scrolls down to see what you tweeted a few hours ago. Twitter is about what’s happening right now.
- Be interesting and tweet something that matters to your followers. News, offers, your blog, pictures.
- I’ll say it again. Include pictures, using twitpic.com or another app. People like pictures. Smile in your pictures.
- Include links to articles or your blog posts. So that means don’t forget to tweet your blog posts.
- Stay true to your company’s voice. Be funny if you’re funny. Be serious if you’re that.
- Don’t underestimate the power of your personal recommendation. People are looking for personal endorsements from people they trust before they make big decisions, or even small ones such as where to have lunch and what to order.
One tweet can make a difference. Wake up, dear. My tweets make a difference.
My therapist said so.Share Article