Separated by the safety of an LCD screen, Twitter and I sat across from one another. Over a piping hot coffee, I mused,
“I don’t like you and you don’t seem to like me. We either call it quits or we make it work. Preferably my way.” (92 characters)
And so we argued, sulked and eventually reached a compromise. Here is what I have learnt and what has been working for me since the day Twitter and I came to a mutual understanding and called it a truce.
Five Lessons I Learnt from Twitter
1. Your followers are following your tweets and NOT your website
The primary goal of using Twitter was to promote Gourmantic yet the results left me unsatisfied. Then I learnt a very tough lesson: The majority of your followers aren’t interested in your website. Most follow without even a visit. Therefore if you use Twitter as a one way tool to promote your blog, it will always yield poor results. Experience has shown me that the rate of click-through from Twitter is poor compared to leaving quality comments on other blogs. I had to face this reality and change my way of thinking.
2. Tweet within your interests
Twitter can be an effective personal PR campaign and like a business, I learnt to provide interesting and informational tweets that relate to my niche market and audience. I talk about things that interests me. I often tweet links to good articles about food and travel that I bookmark for my future use. These are what I like to share with others. Applying the 80-20 rule of 80% useful content and 20% self promotion was a workable compromise.
3. Give your personality to your tweets
Twitter made me feel I was compromising some of my personal traits so I can join the cool kids. While I am not comfortable tweeting my whereabouts or activities until after the event, I now aim to inject a little of my personality into my tweets so that they have my voice which makes it more natural to me.
I have recently changed my Twitter name from the website’s name to Ms Gourmantic, to give an indication that I was human, female, and not just a website logo. It is a small compromise but one that allows me to remain anonymous for the time being.
4. Build relationships with the people whose content you like and to which you relate
Using Tweetdeck has simplified keeping up with others and building relationships instead of relying on tweets pouring in. I have become more active in promoting others’ blogs and retweeting posts that leave a lasting impression on me. I engage others by replying to a tweet that piques my interest. I learnt not to think about it too much and act based upon my initial reaction.
I apply the usual courtesies I extend people in life. I always thank those who mention, retweet or recommend me. I give a little public thank you when due, something I am known to do naturally either at work or in a social environment. I maintain my true nature and apply it to the medium.
5. Set a time limit on Twitter and stick to it
My prime directive will always be to write ahead of any time I spend on Twitter. By setting a maximum of half an hour per weekday, I can juggle both without compromising too much or feeling guilty. I have stopped studying behaviours and tweets. I no longer waste time on Twitter and end up feeling overwhelmed. I finally get to use the medium, and I do it my way.
The Future of Twitter
Twitter and I have come a long way since our early spats. Once I applied the lessons I’ve learnt, I started to look forward to my allocated tweet time and enjoy the connections I make with people. But what about the ROI? Has Twitter brought a significant number readers to Gourmantic? Sadly, no. But as a brand name, it has reached a wider audience which one day may decide to pay me a visit here.
For the moment, Twitter and I will remain lovers at large, drawn together in heights of passion then mutually respecting some private personal time.
At least we have become an item.
Tweets by Gourmantic
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