Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Building a Twitter Platform from Scratch

Confession time. Until about a week ago I was kinda sorta anti-Twitter. I'm not sure why I never got into it, I think it was a cross between hating the constraint and the perceived neediness of it all. I hated feeling like I was trying so hard to connect with people and be witty.

*cough* circle-jerk *cough*

But about a week ago my boyfriend talked me into re-activating my Twitter account. I'd made one about a year prior but never got the hang of it, so it sat unused like a pair of roller skates after the 80s.
I digress. But it's worth pointing out that no one roller skates anymore. Blades are where it's at.

So I stumbled through six or seven of my most used passwords to try and resuscitate the feeble thing and after only a few minutes I was in! With...2 followers, who I didn't know. Now is the point of my journey that I share the fact that I'm basically a closet writer. I write for me and it's a part of my life that is semi-private from my friends and family. I like that I get to be someone else  and not have to worry about someone not liking what I have to say. I feel like a teenager that is just growing in to her body and developing her own personality. I'm still in that awkward hone-your-voice stage.

My Facebook page is where I keep in touch with people from past lives. My Twitter page is my attempt at building a platform from which to strengthen my own writing career, but also to network with important people in the business.

So, as I said, I had two followers when I dusted off the ol' Twitter account and I needed to grow rapidly. I am 5 days into this journey of growth and I have increased my followers more than tenfold! (Those of you who bother with the math will discover that I have over 20 followers...which isn't very much). 

Now, before you knock it, know that every one of those followers were achieved naturally and they're all real people. Yeah, you can buy 10,000 Twitter followers but what does that really gain you in the long run? I want to build a community of followers who are engaged with my Tweets and actually read what I have to say. You can only get that by saying things...saying a hell of a lot of things...#SoTired.

If you're anything like me you are still learning about Twitter, what works, and what falls on deaf ears. To help you get started generating real followers, take a look at the few tips I've compiled below:

1. Be genuine: No one wants to read through 100% promotional garbage. Of course you should be tweeting your posts and content from others that you really like, but make sure it reflects you and what your followers can come to expect. Some people follow you so you will follow them, that's fine but don't go re-tweeting things for the sake of it

2. Be smart with your hashtags and handles: A well-placed Twitter handle or hashtag will give you more visibility, call attention to your message, and place your tweet in sorted categories so it will be easier for people to find pertinent information. But too much of this good thing in particular can make a tweet near impossible to read and people will ignore it. You don't want people to ignore it.

3. Be active on others' Twitters: Follow some of your favorite writers, bloggers, and peers and then stay active on their accounts. You will eventually get a re-tweet or call-out and some new followers will trickle in. Keep up the effort and you'll have a small community of people, not robots, in no time.

4. Pay attention to what is trending: If you have something funny or valuable to say regarding a trending topic, get in there! People are actively combing through said topic and a good post could mean many followers.

These are the main tips I've gleaned so far. Again, it's been five days people. I'll try and update when I reach one hundred followers and share anything new I've learned.

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