When I joined Twitter as a super late adopter, just under a year from now I had some strange views.
For some reason I thought that whatever I posted will be seen by everyone, every link will be clicked by all followers and at least half of them will Retweet my tweets, because they are so awesome.
Turns out, that’s not how it works. Gladly those naïve views above where I thought everything is about me and what I post have faded, more about that later.
Just a few days back I made some interesting observations as regards Twitter, Clicks and Retweets. Someone “big” with about 100,000 followers retweeted one of my posts and I was “whoa” this must get a LOTTA clicks now right? Turns out, he got 6.
This appeared very strange to me, knowing that my own tweets get between 10-15 clicks each, which isn’t much either, yet I have 1% of the amount of followers he had.
What’s going on here? Just an outlier and usually he does get 100’s of Clicks?
Or wait, aren’t we asking the wrong question here?
What means being successful on Twitter?
Someone once said to me
“Thinking that your follower count and number of Clicks defines your success on Twitter is so 2008”
And I couldn’t agree more. Of course at some point you will worry about the number of Clicks, as it means traffic for your site and eventually money in your pockets, but as the first and foremost reason to be on Twitter? No, I don’t think so.
What I learnt that really defines success on twitter is something else. To me it is answers to these questions:
- How many great conversations have you had today on Twitter?
- How many people have you helped today via Twitter?
- Whom have you met or reached that you couldn’t otherwise have reached?
- How many people have you brought together today?
- How much truly great content have you provided for your followers?
It is answers to these questions that makes Twitter awesome I believe and in short comes down being expressed with the much talked about term “engagement”.
And what’s really interesting about that is the fact that all the other effects of more followers, more clicks and more retweets will come by itself. You don’t have to be self-promotional all the time.
Mack Collier, one of my favourite blogger’s expressed it in this way:
Don’t share content to get on someone’s radar, share content because it’s amazing.
Lead interesting conversations, help others and everything will come by itself. And the best part? Focusing on others and helping them is much more fun than focusing on number of Clicks and Retweets.
Klout vs your Brain
This is why the hotly discussed topic of Klout or Peerindex is something very important I think. Without regards to how well their algorithm is, I feel that making an effort to create an output different to the sheer number of followers is extremely valuable.
It lets us drift away from the mantra that all we need is followers and helped me greatly to develop a new mindset which focuses on something else far more important: the people involved.
To drive this argument even further, simply observing and intuitively feeling how well you are doing on Twitter based on how much fun you have might still be the best thing to do. Let your brain and your original feelings tell you what you have to do more, it works better than I ever imagined.
How to be more successful on Twitter
Putting the above into practice here are a few techniques I am using to be successful and to get answers to the mentioned questions:
1.) Make your Tweets stand out
One of the things I have started to do heavily is to give my Tweets a unique face. Instead of tweeting the post title and link try finding a great quote from the passage and copy this one in your tweet alongside the link.
In this way you won’t be the 290th Retweet of title and link, but it will be filtered news you provide for your followers.
2.) Give the author credit
I am a huge advocate of doing this. Whenever there is a great post you are reading and you feel worth sharing, why not give some love back to the author? This shows your followers you have really engaged with that blog, giving them a sign of personal reference.
Especially combining 1 & 2 works really well I believe.
3.) Say more than “Thank You”
This is another way to boost the amount of daily new connections and relationships you can build. Whenever you get a Retweet or @Mention from someone, go that step further beyond the usual “Thank You” note.
Check out what they are doing. Take a look at their website and find something you can relate to and then most importantly: tell them that. It is a great way to learn more about the interesting things others are doing and on the side you are building a strong followership too.
So are your Twitter efforts in vain?
Over to you now: What are the steps you are taking to succeed on Twitter? Do your terms of “success” differ to mine? I would love to discuss it with you below.
Leo Widrich is the cofounder of BufferApp.com, a Twitter App that allows users to schedule tweets easier than other scheduling Apps you might know of. As he focuses on getting Buffer off the ground, Leo writes and gives Twitter Tips at blog.bufferapp.com. Leon loves to connect and build a relationship with new users. Don’t hesitate to say Hi.