What A Sweet Song (Twitter Basics)

Today’s post is all about Twitter folks.

Most of you know about Twitter, and the majority of you probably have an idea of how it works, but this post is about the basics of it, what I’ve learned in three weeks of really starting to use the website as it’s intended, and some basics for those of you who avoided it like I did initially.

I have decided to dedicate this post to my 1600+ followers on Twitter – thank you for your initial support, your continued support, and what I believe will be decades of collaboration and mutually assured benefit!

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There are a few timotheories admissions to make about the global phenomenon known as Twitter though. At least before I get this post started off right.

First, I thought I understood Twitter when I first heard about it back in 2007. It was already over a year old, and I wasn’t even fully committed to the idea of Facebook so Twitter seemed a little bit superfluous at the time. But to me Twitter represented  a quick way to access articles and ideas (no matter how interesting), but I had just finished art school and already had a head full of ideas. Plus a few resources to access content myself. So Twitter wasn’t an option.

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Second, I didn’t have a blog yet, and Twitter seemed like a place to market content, but I didn’t just want to post pictures or videos I liked, I wanted to market my art and my own contributions. And then my own art fell by the way side for a few years, and so I forgot about Twitter.

Fast forward to 2013. After a bad experience with art and business mostly forgotten, I was now comfortable with Facebook, learning the ropes of social media in general, and I wanted to start a blog. But due to some personal relationship problems, I never got the account off the ground.

So I worked out some shit, and got my domain name sorted out, taking baby steps as I went. The final quarter of 2014 rolled around, and I started writing.

I had heard all about the struggles of traffic generation, and I knew that blogging wasn’t something you could JUST DO, get traffic and get paid for your art. You had to write good content and build an audience. Which is why I wrote for a few months, one post or two every month, and accepted the slow burn.

Then I introduced some more ideas, interviews in particular,  AND set up a Facebook fan page. That got me some more attention, but nothing steady. Next, I tried my hand at a schedule and regular content, again, I started to see a spike in monthly views, but nothing as substantial as I was expecting.

Syndication was just not being my friend. I tried posting to FB group pages and sharing my links on Reddit, and I would definitely see bumps on those days, but the bumps were temporary.

When I finally admitted I knew nothing, and began searching online on how to grow an audience, I kept seeing the same things over and over. Syndication, use all the social media channels, and become an expert in them.

Well guess what? Twitter is number one on all the lists.

This website is micro-blogging at it it’s finest. And according to this article, it’s the SMS of the internet. Which really makes sense to me, almost a decade later.

As I mentioned at the start of this article, this post is about Twitter. The basics that I’ve learned and how I’ve seen substantial growth in the mere three weeks that I’ve become a student of it’s principles.

What have you learned timotheories?

I thought you would never ask, dear readers. Well here are my basics of Twitter, which I hope to expand upon in the coming months.

  1. You only have 140 characters to work with, so keep your word choices succinct, your hashtags relevant (for community building), and your URLs short.
  2. @reply is at the start of a tweet and is between you, your friend, and both parties followers.
  3. @mention appears at another other point in the tweet and is a public post.
  4. Post what you know about to your followers, and share what you care about via retweets
  5. Twitter is not Facebook, it’s public domain. Be particular with what you share, how you write, and be generous with your time.

The other big takeaway of the Twitter experience has been following people that I care to associate by searching for them with key words, and even following their friends. Of course you should also follow back when appropriate, but the only way to organically grow your following is by participating.

And that’s all the wisdom I can share at this time, I’m out of theories. What do you think? Am I on the right track? Do you use Twitter or not? In the future I’ll write another post about how to use the website as an artist, but for now, please comment and subscribe for more timotheories!

Tim!

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