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Twitter…Simplified For the Rest of Us

So I was having a conversation with one of the folks who had signed up for my mini email course that covers the basics about how to write, and manage a blog. She mentioned Twitter, which couldn’t have been better timing…she mentioned that even though she is a millennial she just doesn’t get it. Some people expect that all millennials just innately have an understanding of all things tech, but it is just not true. Some people just get Twitter, and others don’t. I was (until a month or so back) one of those ones that just didn’t get Twitter either.

My biggest problem with it all was that I had read multiple blog posts about Twitter. I followed conversations from social media pros, and I still had no idea why anyone would want to be Twitter, or what the point of it was. I always have this idea in my head: “If I can read about it, I can learn about it.” For what seemed to be the first time in my life I was seemingly completely and utterly stumped. So I gave up on Twitter, I put it on autopilot and let wilt on its own.

That was about 3 years ago…

Fast forward to fall of 2014. Here we go time to set up social media account for yet another endeavor. The dread once again set in. I am going to have to get back on Twitter. Uggggg

Then something happened…Twitter made sense…I finally understood why people would choose to be on this platform that made you share messages in 140 characters or less…

So here is my take on it, how I use it, what I think of it now, and how you can use Twitter to share your knowledge, and grow a following.

Think of Twitter like the stock ticker of the web. Hashtags (#) and @ symbols are your two main identifiers. Tweets are generally tidbits, often there is a link associated with the Tweet. The link is shortened with a tool called bitly (or another similar tool), so that it takes up fewer characters, and therefore you have more space to write you post.

So you use a hashtag to call attention to a phrase. There are a couple of reasons to do this #1 is makes your Tweet stand out and be seen #2 it makes your tweet more searchable.

Using the @ is similar but this is a way of publicly saying something to the effect of Hey @marthastewart that was a great article. So you are drawing attention to a particular Twitter users. Using the @ and pointing it at a particular user is called a mention. You can track these in your notifications section in the upper left toolbar.

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It’s like you have a whole bunch of people curating and sharing some really great content, that you might otherwise miss out on….but watch out for the spam too, you will get to know it pretty quick. If you don’t have time to take a look right away, you can always favorite the Tweet, that way it will be saved in your notification with a star on the left so that you can take a look at it later.

Twitter moves fast. In the blink of an eye, there are 300 new tweets, so it is easy to get lost or buried in it all. You will want to tweet several times a day and to do this you will likely want to set up a content management app. If you haven’t done so already.

OK, but like I said earlier, the point of being on Twitter as a business, is not just to be on Twitter but to be engaging with people on Twitter. Gaining followers was maybe one of the most mystifying things to me in the beginning, and I wasn’t sure if I had really grasped it until…

I tested my theory by taking back over the Twitter @boardwalkclean account. We had like 60 followers for the longest time. The Twitter account has been open since I think 2009. I put myself to work on it a week or so ago and within one week we went from 60 to 120 followers, thus increasing my reach and influence. SO now that I know what I am doing I plan on continuing to increase my Twitter presence by setting goals for follows, mentions and retweets.  The goal I have set is to be in the thousands of followers within the next few months.

So the biggest question you probably have for me is how? Or maybe you aren’t convinced of the why? The why is simple: every presence you have on the big ‘ol world wide web is going to increase your brand exposure. Increasing your brand exposure means increased business. Twitter isn’t going anywhere, and neither are you. So you may as well face facts and get yourself on the Twits, and get Tweeting….

Ok so here is the how…of growing your Twitter Followers.

I did a quick screen recording simply because it figured showing you would be easier than telling you: Twitter Instructions Be aware that you will not be able to open this on mobile, I am looking for a solution to that problem as we speak.

Now in writing this I am realizing how many other little tricks I have learned along the way. So that being said I am going to start writing another e-mail course.

You can sign up here:

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In the meantime follow me on Twitter @fielddapp to get tips and tricks via 140 characters, and some really smart people that I re-tweet.