Frustrated with Twitter? Join the ever-growing club. You’re pumping out great content day in and day out, and it’s just not getting noticed. What’s the deal? Well, instead of keeping your head down and plowing forward, stop and look around you. What do you see? First:
You’re too worried about clicks. Twitter is a place people go to ingest 140 characters of information quickly. Many users flat-out ignore links included in tweets. Why? Battery life, for one thing. Clicking a link in the Twitter app of a smartphone loads the landing page on your suddenly-operational web browser, further taxing that poor piece of mobile technology.
And don’t even get me started on attention spans. In the time it took me to write this sentence, I checked my fantasy baseball lineup for today, sent an email, and tried to get “Call Me Maybe” out of my head. That song is infuriating. The point is, 140 characters is more than enough to read for quite a few people in the Twitterverse.
So what to do? Focus on making those 140 characters the best they can be. Maybe a link is unnecessary from time to time. Be funny. Be honest. Be helpful. And to do that, you’ll have to realize something:
You’re not having conversations. How often do you reply to people? Chances are it’s not enough. How about retweets? Again, probably not enough. This is an easy pattern to fall into. As the task list piles up, neglecting Twitter is a natural response. And when you do remember the account, it’s all too simple to rush a tweet just to get something out there. Next time you’re about to fall into that pattern, take 5 minutes to get a conversation going. Just 5 minutes. Listeners are hugely valuable on Twitter. There aren’t many out there.
Let’s use healthcare as an example. Is one of the people you’re following complaining about a headache this morning? Give him this article. Did you just laugh out loud at a tweet? RT that noise. Did you just read a fascinating sentence and share it with a friend? Again, RT. Show some love. The Golden Rule applies in the Twitterverse, too. Once you loosen up a bit, you may find your account is heading in a great direction. But in order to loosen up, we should probably tell you:
You’re taking your account too seriously. Tweets scheduled months in advance. Great tweets ignored because they didn’t come from your brand. No conversation with the commoners.
If you’re not going to change these bad habits, you’re wasting your time with Twitter. It’s an organic, up-to-the-minute summation of our world, and there’s a place for anyone and any brand that’s willing to converse, help, and show a sense of humor. If you’re not up for that, your time and money are better spent elsewhere.
Meet Michael Dubin, real-life CEO of recently-funded Dollar Shave Club. The premise: for as little as a dollar per month, get your razors shipped to your home. Great idea, right? That alone would likely have been enough to secure funding. But just to be safe, DSC threw in this startup launch video, which is just about the greatest thing ever.
The lesson? Have fun with your product, and if there’s room to ease up and maybe not take it so seriously, then by all means do it.
I’m sure you noticed last week that women started posting a one word color on their Facebook status. My wife even posted hers. I remarked about how it’s funny the useless things people do in order to “spread awareness” for a cause. Well it appears the whole meme was a scam. A silly, lighthearted, harmless and somewhat fun scam, but a scam nonetheless.
It started with an e-mail, vaguely attributed to several different breast cancer groups. It encouraged women to post their bra color, but not tell men what the color meant. One of the groups credited was the Susan G. Komen Foundation. John Hammarley, spokesman for the foundation told theWashington Post, “It would be nice to claim credit for this, but we really have done nothing.”
It wasn’t long before women were posting “pink,” “white,” “nude.” and other colors in their status from Philadelphia to Tokyo. The meme quickly spread all over the world. Individuals in Nigeria, Spain, India perpetuated the scam with translations. In fact, in the UK a version of the meme used the British spelling of “colour.”
Over the weekend someone even decided to create a spinoff meme: “URGENT! FACEBOOK VIRUS ALERT,” the subsequent mass status update reads. “An e-mail recently went out to women asking them to post the color of their BRA. THIS IS A VIRUS. To fix it, you must remove your bra, then go to > Settings > Enable Webcam > Record Movie. Please re-post to your status message.”
But there is an upside to this. The Susan G. Komen Foundation had been struggling to develop their Social Media program — and this meme gave them the support they needed to lift their sagging membership in their Facebook group. On Friday morning membership in their Facebook group had only 135 fans. As of this moment, Monday morning, their group has blossomed to a healthy 141, 602.
In way, I think this scam is a beautiful thing. (No, not in the debaucherous way.) It’s a beautiful real-life example of how a little creativity can use the power of social media to create a spark that ignites people to participate in a concept or idea. It’s the kind of thing we do every day.
You can make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation here.