Inspiring Tweeps Want to Know (All About You): Twitterverse

Twitter tweep and birdsIn the Twitterverse, you get out what you put in. Fidelman described the success of the most engaged brand on Twitter, @Notebook. He explained that it has everything to do with “finding the right people to create the right content that resonates very well” and responding to every tweet in order to promote interaction. I love interacting with brands to see if they will respond to me. I’m beginning to notice brands that follow the “respond to everyone” motto and I enjoy tweeting them for advice. Price also wrote about the most engaged brands, with @Notebook on the top. I find it very interesting that “none of the most active made the most engaged list.”

Duffy reiterated the importance of picking the right tweeters. Those whom you entrust with the responsibility to represent your company on Twitter must know “the issues to your goals inside and out.” They should be able to engage deeply with your audience while listening closely to everything going on around them. Conner made a good point about looking for the top influencers in “relevant conversations”. They are the ones you can learn from and may follow you or retweet something clever you had to say. Those who will be tweeting for your company should be able to adhere to guidelines for tweeting 80% conversational tweets / 20% tweets about the company. One of the biggest mistakes I was once guilty of was trying to go straight for the hard sale. Start slow, engage, and let your audience develop the curiosity to look into your company further. For me, the best take away from Lee when he wrote about starting his Twitter account from scratch was to take the time to set up the Twitter lists in the beginning. I don’t know much about lists but I’ll be spending some time familiarizing myself with them now.

Twitter is not only a great place for businesses to feel out their communities but it can be a tool for education as well. Lytle described a few great uses for it in the classroom where “students prepare for a future in the workplace.” One point that really hit home for me was that students are being taught through Twitter to get their point across within 140 characters. This is a great idea to practice both professionally and personally. Lee even made the point that there is “17% higher engagement when keeping tweets short (less than 100 characters).”

Although I think it may be possible that we, as humans might have a little bit of an attention span issue with such an influx of information on networks like Twitter, I disagree that “social media is displacing real rapport and real conversation.” Keller said that we are suffering greatly because of social media. I think people are actually more inclined to take the initiative to interact when they have a platform like Twitter. If they see something they like, they can expand the conversation via Facebook to further engage.

Questions to consider:

1. What is the best strategy when setting up your Twitter lists?

2. What do you think about Bill Keller’s statement that “social media is displacing real rapport and real conversation”?


14 thoughts on “Inspiring Tweeps Want to Know (All About You): Twitterverse

  1. Hi Erin! I’ve been on Twitter since ’08 and I set up lists when they first came out, but I rarely use them anymore. After reading your blog, I actually had to go back and tweak some of my lists, as I haven’t looked at them in years. Most of mine (surprise, surprise) are news outlet-driven lists. As a user, a list just seems like another thing to have to look at. I would rather just go in and look at my feed. But in the newsgathering realm, a list can be helpful because you can keep tabs on all Twitter accounts that are relevant to certain topics (i.e.: education, politics, public safety).

    I think Keller had a point: In a way, social media can take away our real conversations, which are meant to be longer than 140 characters. Overall, I think social media is a useful tool, but what turns me off about it is that people can use it to be snarky (I have been guilty of this from time to time). For big businesses that may only get to interact with their customers on social media, it’s a great way to be able to reach out. But if I have to choose between in-person human interaction and social media, I’d pick seeing someone in the flesh rather over computer screen.

    1. Amanda, I was thinking that Twitter lists could be beneficial for professionals who manage or oversee the social media for businesses in a variety of industries. It would easier to follow the conversations for each one without getting sidetracked too easily.

      I definitely think that social media can negatively affect the ability to begin true, meaningful personal relationships. On the flip side, I think it really is a great place to begin or maintain business relationships. As someone who has had many doors slammed in my face in outside sales, social media is a godsend! If you can be patient and slowly develop a relationship, it becomes more of a soft sale.

  2. I think that utilizing social media is both good and bad. Not only is it connecting the world, but changing it at the same time. I think it remains to be seen if it will be good or bad. But I agree with Keller, with all changes, we not only gain but lose something. Twitter might connect the world at a faster pace, but what about the depth of that connection? What about thoughts that can not be expressed in 140 characters? Will we begin speaking in 140 characters like what became popular when texting hit big — omg, I’m LOL?

    1. Melinda, I’m curious to see future studies about the effects of social media in society. I bet we will see big differences when comparing various generations. You can already see how it has taken a toll on the empathy of many people using social media. They fail to see one another as real people and say things that they would never say in person.

      1. I don’t think this is just a social media phenomenon. It’s made it easier, sure but bullying seems to have risen and gotten darker. But studies should be interesting — every aspect of the world is now in the social media domain, news, food, entertainment, what will the effects be of this shrinkage to the world be? Six degrees of separation was the game, but has social media made that so much closer?

      2. Melinda, that’s a good point about 6 degrees of separation. Everything and everyone is accessible with social media. Even if you don’t know someone you can browse a friend list and make your own introduction. I’m very curious to see where we will be 10 years from now.

      3. I’m thinking, Feed by MT Anderson will be adept.
        Chips wired into our brains that keep us connected 24/7 — think it, know it, download it. Instant advertisement, instant connection to anyone in your immediate space.

  3. Erin, I think Twitter lists should be set up by how you know the follower. You can separate by family, friends, colleagues etc. Or you can do it geographically or by level of interaction/engagement with the follower. As for Keller’s statement, I think he is wrong and not living in reality. He has a skewed view of the world (as do many people from the New York Times in my opinion, which is why I don’t read them) and he was so completely against anything related to social media that I couldn’t take him seriously. Needless to say I was not a fan of that article.

    1. Steven, that’s a good way to organize the lists. I still need to set mine up. I didn’t like Keller’s article either. There were a couple of points I agreed with but I felt like the whole thing was just bashing everything related to social media.

  4. Twitter lists? I had never really used them before. I think it’s best to set it up by how well you know the person. If it’s a brand, journalist or expert, make your lists by subject: social media, politics, marketing, etc.

    I have to agree with Keller. Twitter changed the way we communicate. Facebook has completely eliminated our need to go to reunions, make phone calls to check in on people, and write letters. Now, we can see how everyone we know (and don’t know) is doing with a click of a button. We don’t need to talk on the phone anymore, everything is digital and out there in the open. The definition of “real conversation” has changed from actually talking to texting back in forth. It’s sad, really. But I am victim to this. I never talk on the phone now, unless it’s to my mom. I didn’t go to my reunion because I know how everyone from high school is doing.

    1. I agree that it has changed the way we communicate but I think it’s different for everyone. I personally got closer to a few people from my past through social media. A few of us were pregnant at the same time and over the entire course of our pregnancy, we got very close. I think it just depends how you use it and what you share.

  5. I believe that Keller’s statement does have validity for some people. Social media has had an enormous impact of how we communicate and I do feel that it has made some people lazy because you no longer have to go anywhere or put fourth much effort to be abel to communicate with someone is is across the globe from you. Social media can be beneficial and I have found I have developed awesome relationships with people I first connected with online. I think it all comes down to the type of communicator you are not the methods of communication you are using.

    1. Emily, I definitely agree that it depends how you communicate and what you are writing about. Some topics, between friends can evoke a lot of emotion and draw friends closer.

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