Tips to Tweet Effectively

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ImageThis week I learned a lot about Twitter, it is great for me since I have had a hard time figuring out how to best behave on Twitter. Mark Fidelman spoke about different ways to ensure top engagement. What stuck with me most was that he said to respond and acknowledge every tweet. This is something that I agree with, recently I reached out to Kohl’s, Old Navy, Costco, Petco and Michael’s Stores through Twitter and not one of those companies responded to me. This makes me wonder if any of these companies could be higher up on the Top 25 Most Engaged Companies, if they took the time to respond and acknowledge tweets.

Another great tip I got was from Jill Duffy, she speaks about being engaging. It seems to me that no matter what social media platform you are using, the best thing to do is be engaging and let your personality shine through. However, that can be hard to do when Aaron Lee suggests that we should keep tweets less than 100 characters. The truth is, information on Twitter needs to be concise, and done consistently. Don’t let your audience wonder where you are, as Kim Garst says, that would be a “Fail”. This is something that I struggle with, while updating my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter, sometimes it is hard to not only consistently update everything, but with different and new information. It is important though, since it is all a part of building your brand.

Twitter is being used in colleges to assist with that, something I would have found very useful. When I was in college, in 2008, my Professors had us use Twitter and told us to be inspiring, but I don’t think that was enough guidance. Especially since it is 5 years later and I am learning a lot more about Twitter now than I ever did before.

Michael Brito speaks about how people should “listen and observe before engaging.” Finding your own Twitter community can be complicated, so don’t just jump in and start following anyone. Find people that you want to engage with and who you think will want to engage with you. Not just follow everyone who follows you, unless you find them relevant. Aaron Lee also spoke about creating Twitter Lists early on to categorize communities and therefore not miss anything in an overflowing feed.

Bill Keller speaks about The Twitter Trap, and I actually think it is the trap of every social media platform. While people are constantly getting information in such small bursts, it has given us shorter attention spans and more possibility of quick quarrels. It is easy for people to battle each other without using lots of words, as is the case on Twitter. Is that bad though? I feel as though that should force people to make concise arguments instead of long debates.

However, with as much information that is out there to help people learn how to use Twitter more effectively, the truth is that like every social media platform, as soon as you think you know what you are doing, something new is being developed. For instance, now there are Tweet Chats. Cheryl Conner speaks about this and how people can gather together to chat while using a #hashtag to note that it is part of the same conversation. I know that I am not ready for that kind of tweeting yet, but after learning a lot this week, my new goal is going to be reaching out to followers and working on becoming an interesting person to follow on Twitter. After learning about Twitter, what will you be working on when it comes to building your own brand? Do you think more schools should be using Twitter as a part of their classroom learning experience?

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5 responses »

  1. Hi Amanda.

    Educators should definitely adopt Twitter as a tool for classroom instruction and engagement. We are in the Social Media Age, and should embrace emerging technologies, to bridge the gap between information rich and information poor societies.

    The legitimate applications of Twitter are abundant.

    Jim Newman at Northern Illinois University uses Twitter as a bulletin board, and alerts students of last minute news such as canceled classes.

    Howard Rheingold at Cal Berkeley uses Twitter for group contact, which he calls “student-to-teacher-to-student ambient office hours.”

    Kent State University, college of education teacher William Kist uses Twitter as a “digital faculty lounge” for networking with other professors.

    Similar to our usage of #UFSocial, students who are not able to make it to a live class can follow a designated hashtag to keep up with classroom discussions. Additionally, students can live tweet their reactions to class lectures.

  2. Hi Jason,

    Thank you so much for responding to this post. I agree, we should bridge the gap between information rich and information poor societies, however, do you think a society that is information poor is tweeting? I am just wondering. I do think Twitter is important for classrooms, like I said, I wish my Professor in 2008 had actually taught me more about how to use it rather than “be inspiring.” Thank you for the additional information on what other Professors are now doing with Twitter.

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