EDITOR’S NOTE: Part Two of Marisa Peacock’s post on tweeting effectively. Catch up on what you may have missed in Part One.
It used to be that the more online friends and followers a user had, the more influential they had become. Now, most people appreciate that it’s not how many followers you have that matters, but how engaged those followers are.
The 80-20 rule applies many social media platforms, especially Twitter. The rule means that roughly eighty percent of the tweets generated on Twitter come from twenty percent of its users.
You will find that many of your followers are voyeurs and don’t actively engage on Twitter. They may read tweets occasionally, but don’t tweet or retweet with any regularity. Yet, there is a small, but active group of followers that will, however, share links, retweet information and engage actively with those that they follow.
Focus on your twenty percent. You may already know who they are — they retweet your posts and may mention or direct message you. By developing relationships with them, they can help extend your message’s reach. The twenty percent are influential as they have been able to position themselves as authoritative sources of information.
4 Shorten and Track Your Links
Sharing information and resources is a great way to establish a presence online. Yet, to be sure of your influence consider monitoring the links you share.
When you share links, use a URL shortener. (Long links can use up 140 characters very quickly). Most Twitter applications have URL shorteners built-in so that if your link goes beyond the character limit, it’s automatically shortened.
Unless you’ve registered an account with a specific URL shortener, it will be harder to know how many times it’s been clicked and shared. By tracking links, users can best understand which links are most popular and relevant to followers. Use this information to tailor your tweets appropriately.
In addition, you can customize your URL to make it easier for others to remember. Create a custom URL if a link is too long (e.g. http://bit.ly/AlumniCenter) so that it is memorable and easy to use in print.
5 Learn & Have Fun
Twitter is as much a resource for you as it is for your followers. It’s amazing how much interesting information can show up in your Twitter feed. It may feel overwhelming at first, but find the time and incorporate it into your schedule. Whether it’s with your morning coffee or in the middle of the afternoon, the more regularly you check and post to Twitter, the more comfortable you’ll become. Like any community, the more you hang around and listen to the locals tell stories and share information, the more integrated you’ll become.
If you’re unsure at first, just observe. You can post when the time is right, at a pace that’s right for you. Twitter is just one of the tools in your communications strategy, but used effectively, it can become a valuable resource for sharing information and promoting your blog, school and company.