What’s Twitter? And why should you care?
Well, I am sure you know what it is, but just to recap, it’s a micro-blogging social media platform. There are a few things that make Twitter different. The first is the length of the posts or updates. They’re limited. And limited to 280 characters (although it used to be 140). You might think you can’t say anything in that many characters, but you’d be surprised. It teaches you to be concise. Anyway, there are other differences too. The Twitter algorithm is different to Facebook, although it isn’t quite what it used to be. Historically, your timeline was a very very fast moving feed that was more chronological than anything else. This was great in some ways, but there was the possibility of missing tweets from your favourite people, and that’s what the Twitter algorithm aims to avoid. This shouldn’t happen as much now. Which has got to be good. Well, I think it is. Personally, I have noticed the changes on Twitter, but I haven’t felt it’s hindered my user experience. But maybe that’s just me?
I should say that, quite off piste, that I do have a bit of a thing about when social media networks announce changes in the algorithm. You know everyone goes into a panic, creates really naff blog posts and content about how Facebook is screwing us over, or Instagram has turned into the devil? Yeah. I like to wait and see. And even then I know it’s a borrowed platform, by which I mean I don’t own it. So I can’t control it. I just need to work with what I have. But that’s a whole different blog…
Why do I like Twitter?
I like Twitter. Yep. I said it. I recently asked my followers on Facebook and Instagram whether they preferred Twitter or Facebook. And Facebook won hands down. But the people who came forward and said they preferred Twitter did really love it. I like it because I enjoy the chatter and the fast moving pace, and I really like the conversation. Unlike Facebook, I think Twitter is ALL about the chat. The tooing and froing. The chatter. With Facebook you make a statement and then address comments (in general), but with Twitter, you can say something and that can lead to more of a chat. I also like the hashtag function. You want to see what’s going on in the Great British Bake Off (I know it’s finished!), you type in the hashtag and you can see and join in the conversation. In some ways it’s higher maintenance than Facebook or Instagram, but it’s a lot more interactive and a lot more friendly. I also think that, as I’ve been on Twitter for so long, I kind of love it. Like a jumper I’ve had forever.
From a business point of view, I have made really good connections through it, responded to the #journorequest hashtag and been featured on various websites, and I have also got clients and work through Twitter. But these things don’t happen overnight. they take time.
Why should you like Twitter?
To be honest, you don’t have to, and that’s fine. At this stage, Snapchat isn’t my favourite platform. And that doesn’t bother me, it’s just the truth. I’m not saying it’s a bad platform but it’s not my favourite. I understand it and I’m on it, but others have a bigger space in my social media heart. You might feel the same way about Twitter. And that’s fine. However, if you fancy giving it a go, then you might just love it. Here are a few tips…
- Get yourself an account – it’s free
- If you have a business, do your best to make sure your Twitter name is the same (or as close to the same) as your other social media profiles
- Follow some people you’re interested in. These might be celebs, websites, magazines, friends, etc. And it’ll help you find some people you might like to follow too.
- Get involved. Respond to people’s comments, put your own tweets out there, share some pics.
- Give it time. If you’re serious about Twitter, give it time. It gets more interesting as your following grows, you get the hang of it, and the more really interesting people you follow.
- Search by hashtags. This will help you find content that might be of interest to you. #horsebloggers is a great one for equestrians, as is #247equestrian, but events and shows also have their own hashtags you can follow and participate in.
And, if you’d like to get more involved and are looking to follow some people, then you can find my Twitter profile here.