Last week I wrote a post that gave advice to people who were new to Twitter and wanted to get off to the best possible start. The article has been quite popular and follow-up conversations I’ve had with readers led to me thinking a little bit more about the subject.
Here are five more tips that I think will help anybody who is using the platform for the first time. If you have friends who ‘don’t get it’, or are finding Twitter disappointing, then please share this with them.
And if you consider yourself a veteran of Twitter, there’s still plenty of value to be found!
1. Twitter Isn’t Third Person
Remember the old days when Facebook status updates were always third person? The status box used to come with a fixed ‘is’ before each message, which encouraged you to always be doing something – i.e., Jack is eating his dinner, Jill is going for a walk, etc.
Because it was so limiting, Facebook eventually dropped the ‘is’ part of the status box, but the majority still updated in the same way. Recently, likely in an attempt to emulate (and keep up with) Twitter, Facebook has almost entirely abandoned the third person status update, and most people (certainly those with whom I interact) update in a similar way to Twitter (albeit with less character restrictions, and significantly less reach).
Twitter has never been third person. Each tweet is a standalone piece of news delivered in 140 characters or less. It is not your name doing or saying something. It is not an action. It’s a message.
Hence, you should NEVER write tweets such as:
I see this all the time with new Twitter accounts (and many established ones). This is partly Twitter’s fault – by specifically asking of us, “What are you doing?”, they encourage people to think of their tweets in the same way they used to think of Facebook status updates.