After two months on Twitter I have gained over 1000 followers and have several tweets with over 100 likes and retweets. Here is what I’ve learned and felt during the process.
Four months ago I made a change to this blog. It wasn’t intentional but after posting a couple of jokes that garnered a little more attention than my standard “therapy through blogging” post, I started to lean that way. Most my jokes were short sentences accompanied with a graphic of some sort as graphics tend to catch people’s attention more. The overriding theme was my Marital Faux Pas string of joke.
One of (if not my only) regular readers suggested heading to Twitter since my format seemed well suited for it. Since I already had a very small account made up mainly of relatives who don’t use their accounts, I started off there. I redid a couple of jokes from here and with the assistance of my reader/friend got some basic starting tips.
After a week I felt I needed to have a separate account from my personal one so I created @MaritalFauxPas. Most of my early posts were family and marriage oriented so I started following and in turn followed by dad and family accounts. I got to about 50 followers with no real traction in the “likes” and “retweet” department. I was getting frustrated and returned here to vent a little. My reader/friend sat me down, gave me a couple more pointers and then I return back to Twitter to give it another shot.
During the next week, I got my first retweet.
“My memory foam bed has developed Alzheimer’s.”
(It was a joke I came up with about 12 years. I premise that people a couple people said “I’ve seen assimilate joke before.”)
Now before I continue I may need to give out some terms:
DM: Direct Messaging. One to one or can be done as a group in a chat room format.
TL: Twitter Life. Mainly refers to your page where it lists your bio, tweets and retweets.
RL: Real Life.
Now back to my first retweet. At this time I only had 45 followers but I was excited. My retweeter was a woman whose profile and Avi conveyed a mix of class and debaucary. I DM her to thank her for the retweet (and in my own mind congratulate her on being the first to recognize my greatness!).
She responded and it sort of freaked me out. She wasn’t aggressive, but more like someone who has been assigned the task of training a new employee. She knew the ropes and was trying to get me up to speed quickly. She was throwing terms around so fast it made my head spin. She was asking about being in any DM groups and if I had any other accounts. That’s where some alarms were going off. “Is she trying to deduce my really identity in order to steal it?” It was all new to me.
All my worry was unfounded. She truly wanted to help me and has become a good friend. She got me into my first DM (in this respect is the chat room kind) which helped a lot. There are about 20 people in it who come and go. I was able to ask questions and drop tweets for them to like and retweet.
Side note: After a while you have so much follower and following activity the standard Twitter feed (home) moves so fast that you can’t keep up. DM drops is one way to get your stuff read. Most stuff is read by people visiting each other’s profiles.
The DM room was great. We had people from all over the world so there was usually someone there at anytime. I was obviously the newb so I was able to get a lot of advice.
1) don’t #. It’s not the magic traffic bullet it’s been sold as. Twitter searches work on everything and unless there is a specific hashtag trending, #humor is not going to get people looking at your TL. Think of it as something your parents are doing now.
2) Retweet others but not yourself. I was surprised how much of a community Twitter actually is. It is almost like HS. You have your close circle of friends, your people you see at parties and the people you see in the halls. If you spend time on Twitter you’ll see faces appearing again and again. Show others the ultimate love with retweets. Be thankful when they show your TL some good attention. Don’t make your TL all about you.
3) Don’t be a serial @er. An @ is when you send a public tweet to a specific person or people using their @ name. They are nice to get and give from time to time but if you do them too much it loses meaning.
4) Start a DM cautiously. I am talking about one on one here. To women opening a DM is like opening a diaper. There is a good chance it is going to be nasty. I’ve apologized for my gender A LOT. The following DM poem is based on actual DMs people I know have gotten. It’s not pretty.
“A DM Poem:
I want to have the sex on you
Please send me you’r breast, no face
Horni me rub in you all night
And lick you in stinki place.”
5) If you want to grow contests are a good way. At least in the circles I am in there are several people who are contest crazy. Really all you win is a 🏆 and a shout out, but they can get the juices flowing. Search contests and there are several accounts that just do them. Also some people create them for fun or to find new people to retweet.
6) Lists are a good way to follow specific people. Like I said before it can be hard to keep up with everyone so a list is like a short feed made up of who you pick. It can be public (others can follow and know they are on the list) or private for personal use only.
7) Block and “soft” block. There is a true block. Where you can’t see them and they can’t see you. I’ve also heard of a “soft” block. It where you block someone which unfollows them and they unfollow you, but then you unblock them and hope they forget about you. I don’t see the purpose of the soft block but some people prefer it.
8) Favstar and Twitter search links. They are good ways for readers to search just your stuff when visiting your TL. You can follow the links on my page, copy them, change the @ to yours and post on yours.
9) Keep graphics to a minimum. Twitter likes to thumbnail graphics so it causes people to have to make a second step to view them.
So through writing good tweets, building relationships, DM rooms, and retweeting I was able to build up to 1200 followers in 2 months.
That is the mechanics of it. This post is getting long and my device is lagging so I’ll end it here and follow up with the emotional side.