Okay, the last one was about Twitter mechanics, this one is about Twitter style. And the most important thing is.
Don't Listen to Most Social Media Advice
JUST BE YOURSELF! This trumps any other specific content/style advice you get from me or anyone else. You like cat gifs, post some cat gifs. You hate ‘em, don’t do it just because someone said that’d get you more followers or whatever. Just like with your act, you’re trying to get people to connect with you not some phoney persona that’ll just disappoint them when you make the big reveal that “Ha ha! It was me the whole time!”
That goes for tone, too. If you’re a silly one-liner guy, stick with it. Dark and gloomy, great. Cheerful and upbeat, good for you.
Here's a few of my favorite tweeters, who are all very different.
Today's Weather Forecast: Currently 81 with an afternoon high of anxiety and paranoia in the evening. Low of 64.— Nick Youssef (@NickYoussef) July 10, 2014
I hope I never have to be identified by dental records because then everyone will know I lie about how much I floss.— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) July 13, 2014
The only time I've ever yelled "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" is at an Adobe Acrobat update reminder.— Kevin Christy (@kevingchristy) July 11, 2014
Eva Mendes tryna keep her pregnancy private like she Beyonce. Bitch you ain't shit lemme see that Gosling bump.— Marcella Arguello (@marcellacomedy) July 11, 2014
Hashtags, RTs, Compliments and Trolls
These are the features I hear the most bitching about (and, in many cases, abuse of)
- Jesus, why are you always putting so many hashtags in everything? - Hashtags, originally envisioned to help organize posts on similar topics or around events, can now be used for anything from a snarky aside to a wordwide riff game. Some people even ironically put seventy-eleven hashtags in a post. Again, that's your choice, based on your voice, but hashtags actually do help other Twitter users discover your tweets.
- He's a retweet whore, RTs literally every compliment he receives - This is actually one of my personal pet peeves... BUT, I also get how cool it is for a fan to get a RT from their comedy hero. I even find a lot of podcast fan's tweets to be fun and creative. So, if that's your jam, don't listen to me mumbling in the corner.
- Ugh, now we're gonna watch her get into it with these trolls again - Other side of the coin of the previous thought. I often find it funny to see what hate tweets idiots take the time to type out and send to comedians, but sometimes it can start to feel less "Ha ha, look at these dummies" and more "Is she about to have a nervous breakdown because of some 12 year old in Des Moines?" Plus, you have to consider how your followers will react and if you're just creating a giant echo chamber of meaningless insults being hurled around on your behalf
Why Should I Use Twitter In The First Place?
Most everyone is on board with Twitter at this point, with many folks essentially abandoning Facebook for it. But there are some people who still use it grudgingly or are dragging their feet about using it. Most commonly because, they say they just don't "get it" It's a very different model from Facebook, so it does take some getting used to, but that's exactly why it's so great!
- Twitter is ephemeral - While it can be maddening that your same post gets 100 Likes on Facebook and 3 faves on Twitter, this also lets you play around on there. You don't have to worry that you aunt in Cleveland will stumble upon your 3 am Sat drunken thoughts on 10 am Tuesday.
- Twitter is asymmetrical - Unlike Facebook's Friend model, you don't have to follow back everyone who follows you and they don't have to accept a request for you to start following them. This is a beautiful thing. You don't have to have a timeline full of stories of small town divorce from your high school classmates or allow strangers who've become your fans access to your personal vacation photos.
- Twitter doesn't game your feed - Facebook uses an ever-changing algorithm to decide whose posts you "want" to see. Twitter is just a firehose. So I get to see all the Boston Globe posts about the Red Sox, instead of just one in five because FB has decided I probably want to see that guy I've been texting lately's posts more (I don't).
- Twitter is timely - Was I the only one who found it a little sad to see so many pre-match USA soccer posts pop up three days after they'd lost on FB? More importantly, I actually see posts about Reddit AMAs, live podcasts and upcoming shows before they happen. And Twitter is great for breaking news like Earthquakes, fires and celebrity deaths.
- Twitter evolves - Twitter users and how they use it help define Twitter - not only what are common conventions, but actual features. Remember when there was no such thing as a native retweet? Or when you had to host your photos on another service like Flickr or Twitpic? This organic evolution keeps Twitter constantly useful because it reflects how people are actually using it.
Ok, that's my Deep Thoughts on Twitter. Next week, Facebook Profiles vs Pages and how they decide who sees your posts.