In the previous post, I wrote about the significance of Twitter and how the platform functions (read it here). Responses were diverse, ranging from people mentioning that they are addicted to it also (like yours truly), to saying that they don’t understand the platform, but want to give it another shot.
Snapchat has eclipsed Twitter in daily users (source). Frankly, that isn’t surprising. Because I believe that people who optimally know how to use Twitter, are lifelong learners. They aren’t looking for an instant dopamine and oxytocin rush (well, not to the levels of other platforms anyway). But that doesn’t stop Twitter from falling in the list of social media platforms being used monthly.
Twitter is an experience. Yes, I know. When you get onto the platform, you’re eager to tell the world that you have arrived first. I did it too. But have patience, dear friend. As mentioned in the earlier post, Twitter is not a distribution platform. It’s one for interaction. You don’t constantly broadcast what you do here. Because unless you are popular, nobody cares. Imagine shouting in an empty, sound-proofed room. What happens? Then, people feel demotivated and say “Twitter doesn’t work for me.” The key to a using Twitter is following quality accounts, to begin with.
Facebook is where you view updates from people you know. On Twitter, you read 140-character opinions from people whom you don’t know personally (probably). Well, there is the option of following only friends on Twitter, but that beats the social media platform’s purpose. You see, Facebook is for connecting with people whom you went to school with. Twitter is for connecting with people whom you wish you went to school with.
Twitter’s Biggest Flaw
Twitter biggest flaw that it offers poor suggestions for beginners to follow. It suggests mainstream newspapers and news channels which only sell controversial, fabricated news. Or superstars who are busy broadcasting their everyday lives. Following your favorite movie stars and sportspeople is fine. But it’s not useful in the long run. After all, how much do you care about what Amitabh Bachchan or Salman Khan say every day? (No offense to either superstar. They’re both great actors. Plus I don’t want to apologize to Salman Khan.)
This is probably why Twitter still is struggling to take off as a platform. The reward to effort ratio while starting off is tiny. Unless you have someone who can help you figure out the right people to follow. Guess what? That person is me.
Again, as mentioned in the earlier post, you must follow thirty legit, interesting accounts to get a hang of the platform. Without further adieu, here are five tips to find those thirty – and eventually 300 – accounts. HAU! HAU! HAU!
1. Complete your bio
Diverse conversations occur on Twitter. Yes, it’s good to focus on one topic, but it’s fun to discuss other interests too. Indulging in varied interests fuels creativity. So complete your Twitter bio. You can write about yourself in 160 characters only. Not words, characters. And that’s awesome! Because this conciseness lets you identify what you really want people to know about you. Apply the Rule of Thirds. List three interests in your bio. This allows like minded people to discover you. More importantly, it helps you identify the three aspects that interest you most. And then, you can start hunting for accounts to follow in similar fields.
2. Use the Search Field
Once you know what interests you, simply type the keyword in the Search field. You will see tweets and accounts related to your interest. Take time. Read the tweets, and click on the profiles of the ones you like. Read seven of their tweets. Do they interest you? Yes? Then follow them. Also click on the accounts which show up in the Search. Follow the ones you find interesting.
Pro Tip: Start following just five accounts for each interest. Following many of them from one category can overwhelm, and eventually, bore you. Also, steer clear of verified accounts (ones with a blue tick) if you can. Some offer immense value, but most of them have little to share.
3. Follow Friends
This is a good way to increase your initial follower count. Click Find People You Know and Find Friends among the options that appear (see image below). Follow your friends who actively use the platform. If they follow you back, good.
Once again, limit this action to a few. You will find a few friends using Twitter anyway. Plus, Twitter is about connecting with people whom you don’t know, and can learn from.
4. Follow Retweeted Accounts
People whom you follow are awesome folks, right? So what about the people whom they follow and retweet? They must be awesome too! They are people who interest people whom you find interesting.
So if you like a tweet which was retweeted by someone you follow, visit the retweeted person’s profile. Read their tweets (seven again). Are they interesting? If the answer is “Yes”, follow them. I can’t elaborate on how much this technique has helped me. What I discovered through it cannot be quantified!
5. Unfollow people too
Sometimes, we follow people hoping that they will follow us back. No shame. I admit I do it. Everyone on Twitter does it. Anyone, including a real life celebrity, is lying if he says that he doesn’t care if the people he follows don’t follow him back.
So when someone doesn’t follow you, tweet their handle using the #nowfollowing hashtag. This notifies them, if they haven’t noticed. Engage with their tweets once or twice in the next two or three days. If they still don’t follow you, unfollow them. That way, you don’t follow 150 accounts while just 17 follow you back.
I will not end with a conclusion here, because I don’t have one. Let’s keep this informal Twitter discussion going. If you enjoy using Twitter, do share insights on how you find people to connect with in the comments. It will benefit the readers and me.
Next week, let’s talk about the kind of tweets that you can post on the platform.