There are a few tricks I’ve learned to make Twitter not only useful, but actually fun. I promise you, it is possible to @ and # without the stressful @&#$%!
1. Use a third party service to tweet.
Personally I love Hootsuite — I can check in and quickly see my Twitter feed, @ mentions, sent tweets, and direct messages at a glance, as opposed to the Twitter web version where you have to click on a few different tabs to see this same information. Hootsuite also makes retweeting, shortening links, and adding images super easy and you can even set up streams that filter tweets using specific search terms, hashtags, etc. Tweetdeck is another option with similar features. Don’t try to use the Twitter website exclusively unless you’re a glutton for punishment.
2. Register with Klout, then stop worrying about your score.
As described by their website, a Klout score is the “measurement of your overall online influence.” Most social media experts will tell you that your Klout score isn’t really an indicator of anything other than how much time you spend on Twitter. They’re right — it’s a general indicator that will fluctuate so feel free to explore different ways to make Twitter work for you without paying close attention to your actual number. Need more incentive to stop caring? The only person with a Klout score of 100 is Justin Bieber, so unless you have an awesome hairstyle and are geared toward taking the 10-14 year old crowd by storm, you can blissfully stop trying to measure up to a teen heartthrob.
3. Join a tweetchat.
Shy about meeting new people or don’t know what to tweet? Join a focused conversation! A tweetchat is when a group of people get together to discuss a topic and include a specific hashtag in all of their tweets so other participants can filter messages and respond. I’ve met some amazing people through a few of my favorite tweet-ups, including the weekly Oh My! Handmade and Crafterminds chats.
If you do join a chat and don’t want to fill up your Twitter stream with your chat tweets, make sure you’re replying to another tweetchat participant for every tweet (and don’t forget to use the hashtag so other chatters can see your comment!). To follow the conversation, set up a stream using the chat hashtag in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck or check out Tweetchat.com.
4. Talk @, not “at” — avoid spammers and spamming.
Before joining, my biggest misconception about Twitter was that it was a bunch of people broadcasting their messages non-stop. Who wants to be subjected to an endless stream of promotions? Are you a spammer? Stop — this means an end to constantly asking people to like you on Facebook, look at your latest shop listing, or check out every treasury you make. A good rule of thumb is to start or join a conversation for at least 80% of your tweets (do what you will with the remainder). On the same note, avoid the spammers at all costs — I’m talking to you serial link droppers, auto-DMers, and overzealous promobots! Once you start @ing people instead of talking at them, you can really start to branch out and use the site for its intended purpose which is networking with others and making connections. Twitter isn’t meant to be a soliloquy.
5. Check your ego at the door.
When someone doesn’t immediately follow you back, it’s easy to feel offended. But don’t feel bad! People use Twitter for different purposes or infrequently review new followers. If it’s someone you really want to get to know, strike up a conversation with them. It doesn’t always have to be an “I follow you, you have to follow me too” type of thing for you to gain something out of it. Follow people you find interesting or helpful and maybe they’ll reciprocate, maybe they won’t. On a similar note, it’s also okay to unfollow someone who no longer fits with your ideal Twitter stream of consciousness. Remember that these are people you’re inviting into your world and it doesn’t always have to be a wide-open, two-way street.
Those are my Twitter favorites, what are yours? Leave a comment, or feel free to tweet me @saltcityspice.
About the author: I’m Katrina and I’ve spent lots of time living and cooking in apartments with small kitchens — when I finally moved into my own house a few years ago I wanted the kitchen to be mine in every way right down to the spice rack, and the idea for my Etsy shop was born. I enjoy cooking, traveling, wine-tasting, working on home improvement projects, and writing. I’m a terrible gardener.
Originally published on the Salt City Spice blog!