After nearly 200,000 tweets, what I know for sure is Twitter is not an antiseptic mode of social media. Behind each and every avatar is an individual. Even corporate accounts have social media specialists operating their accounts. What follows are some simple ‘Twitter-Quette’ rules.
First, every account, whether personal or professional, wants to build followers. Randomly sending tweets devoid of content to a bunch of accounts may, in the short run, build some regular followers as the number of times an account is mentioned or its tweets returned increases its social media scores on services such as that offered by Kred and Klout.
Kred Influence Measurement, or Kred, is an influence measure run by PeopleBrowsr based on a translucent algorithm. “Kred is a dual score to distinguish a person’s Influence (the likelihood that someone will trust a person and act upon their posts) and Outreach (the propensity to share other people’s content forward)[i].
Klout’s algorithm has never been made public and, as such, remains obtuse with its validity and reliability having been repeatedly questioned[ii]. The average Klout score is 20, a score of 50 places a user in the top 95%, and the gold standard is a score of 80.
Both Kred and Klout evaluate social media beyond Twitter to arrive at a score. The weight attributed to mentions by other accounts is based on the other account holder’s score.
You will increase the quality and number of loyal followers by regularly tweeting about areas of expertise and also by promoting charities or organizations you support or with which you identify. There is also something we can do to help another human being.
Content and information, including graphics, are easily obtainable from many sources. The ‘home’ column on Twitter will keep you informed as to what is trending globally. Tumblr also has a trending, as well as a search option. Simple searches on Google will yield graphics on everything from breast cancer awareness to sporting events. The United Nations even offers an App to keep you apprised of the day on which various causes are internationally acknowledged.
To determine what content to send, always read others’ account profiles, look at the account’s tweets, and, if one is available, read the LinkedIn profile. Tailor your tweets to the account holder. This form of targeting marketing not only generates results but it shows that you care.
To simplify matters, Twitter allows account holders to maintain multiple lists. For instance, if you are tweeting with an environmentalist, sending tweets about spirituality is not going to build an on-going relationship. Keeping lists allows you to target content-based tweets to those accounts having a similar interest. If your tweet is retweeted, the other account holders’ followers will see it and hopefully also follow you. You can offer other account holders the opportunity to subscribe to your lists so that tweets on a certain topic can be viewed by multiple accounts. This too helps build followers,
Your tweets will garner more attention if you place text and hashtags at the top of your tweet. My favorite hashtags are “KindnessISMagic” and “Do Good”. To save time, the two hundred or so hashtags and other text I frequently use are preprogrammed into the shortcuts function on my IPhone. Other IOS systems offer similar programs.
Twitter allows 140 characters per tweet not including spaces. So take a moment to use a space line or white space between your text and account addresses.
While Emojis are most often associated with younger generations, on Twitter they are acceptable for everyone to use. Emojis will not only make your tweets stand-out but, will allow you to track which tweets you sent and to which accounts. Along with Emojis, there are optional keyboards with different fonts that can be downloaded.
Graphics will help your tweets catch the attention of both followers and non-followers. Tweets with graphics are more likely to be seen, retweeted and returned.
It takes 21 characters to use a graphic. This rule applies regardless of whether you are using one or four graphics. If you do not use a graphic, consider leaving 21 spaces for account holders to return your tweet with one containing a graphic. When possible, provide proper attribution of the photographer, artist or the source the images or graphics you use. This is a matter of honor similar to avoiding plagiarism.
When new accounts follow you, send tweets thanking your new followers. My standard tweet is “Thanks for following”. If there are accounts that you tweet to regularly, add that account to you welcome tweet.
As Twitter is a global platform, hello and thank-you in a variety of languages are also found among my shortcuts. Making an effort to respond in a culturally-sensitive manner generates goodwill. To date, I have used over twenty languages on Twitter.
The maxim “More miracles occur as a result of gratitude and forgiveness,” is applicable in more ways than one to life in ‘Twitterville’. If you have sent tweets, especially content-based tweets, to your followers, send a thank-you or appreciation tweet as a follow-up; much the same as you would send a thank-you note. Again, I have a shortcut preprogrammed into my IPhone: “GratitudeInAbundance”. It has happened more than once that my thank-you tweets are retweeted and returned more than my content-based tweets.
Along with thanking others, periodically visit your followers’ timeline, as well as those of the nonprofits and organizations you support, and retweet the content-based tweets on their timelines. Twitter offers a ‘quote tweet’ option where the original tweet is below whatever text you wish to add, as well as the addresses of other account holders to whom you would like to forward the tweet. Among the ‘banners’ I often use are “Friends” and “Follow”.
If accounts you regularly interact with have a service or product that they sell, create your own tweet promoting their business. I do this periodically for a number of musicians, authors and social media specialists. Everyone, especially authors, musicians, cloud and social media professionals, will not only appreciate your efforts but will reciprocate your kindness.
Conversely, do not expect other account holders to operate as your free public relations firm. If you have something to sell, do not include your link in the tweets you send others. Restated: promotional tweets should not be addressed to other accounts. The one exception is for blog posts that are written for the common good and, even then, mentioning your own work in tweets directed to other accounts ought to be limited.
If, for any personal reason you would like to elicit the help of other account holders, ask using the direct message function or take the time to connect with the account holder on LinkedIn and send your message on that platform.
As for the direct message function, keep any necessary messages short and professional. The more active accounts direct messages get flooded as they use verification programs that automatically generate a direct message every time they generate a new follower. So, be mindful in your own direct communications.
Another way to express gratitude is by opening accounts with Kred, Klout or Rebel Mouse. Kred and Klout allow you to endorse your connections by ‘giving Kred’ or ‘awarding Klout’ as to another account holder’s area of expertise. This increases that account holder’s score. Rebel Mouse provides the opportunity for you to showcase tweets you received.
If an account that follows or tweets to you sends offensive content, you have two choices: block or mute. The block can be seen. It is akin to a slap in the face, as such, save using the block function for when you are being harassed or when the content is offensive; otherwise, use the mute feature, after which time you will no longer see the account holders’ tweets.
Forgiveness applies to Twitter. Periodically, reconsider the reason why you blocked an accounts and, if the situation is no longer upsetting, then consider unblocking and, if need be, simply muting. As Plato said, ‘Be kind because everyone else is fighting a tougher battle’.
About the Author
Cynthia M. Lardner holds a journalism degree, she is a licensed attorney and trained as a clinical therapist. Her philosophy is to collectively influence conscious global thinking understanding that everything and everyone is subject to change given the right circumstances; Standard Theory or Theory of Everything.
Ms. Lardner has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn, as well as accounts under the pseudonym of Deveroux Cleary, and is globally ranked in the top 1% of all account holders. She is available for professional consultation.
[ii] Shontell, Alyson, “The TRUTH About Your Klout Score: How Your Phony Number Is Calculated”, December 2, 2011, Business Insider, as found on the www at http://www.businessinsider.com/the-truth-about-your-klout-score-the-math-behind-how-your-phony-number-is-mesasured-2011-12 (“Klout says it actively measures five networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google. It measures the following, as well a few other things:
- Twitter repeats and mentions
- Facebook comments, wall posts and likes
- Google+ comments, reshares and +1s
- LinkedIn Comments and Likes
- Foursquare tips
Not every interaction by everyone in a network is measured equally.”). See also Susan Gilbert, “Social Media Influence, How to Gain Exposure and Increase Your Klout”, July 28, 2014, Amazon.