Twitter is one of the leading free ‘micro blogging’ Social Media (Web 2.0) services which allows members to read and send short messages known as “Tweets”. Tweets are text like posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered automatically to the author’s followers.
You can send “Tweets” via the Twitter website, your mobile phone, instant messaging as well as via a couple of other third-party applications. Twitter is one of the most popular and most used social media channels available to anyone, however, most members do not fully understand the real power of this excellent Web 2.0 tool.
We list below some of the popular ‘myths’ about Twitter:
Popular Twitter Myths
“You can’t say enough with 140 characters”: Twitter forces you to be short and to the point you can only use140 characters or less. This gives you about 25-30 words to say what you have to say. Most “Tweets” are summaries which contain the titles of blog posts or articles with links back to the original content.
“Twitter is only used for shameless self promotion”: Whilst undoubtedly thousands of Twitter members do use it this way, spamming Twitter to generate traffic to your website and blog just does not work! Think of it like this; if you attended any social event or even a networking event and just went for the ‘hard-sell’ people would make an excuse an just walk away. Just like offline networking, with online networking respect goes a long way.
“You should always answer the question of “what’s happening”?: Although this is the first question you will see when you are log in to your Twitter account, it is really just encouraging you to share want you want to share with your online followers i.e. ‘content sharing’. Used In this way, Twitter really is a micro blogging platform that anyone can use to share interesting topics, discuss trends, notify events and promotions etc.
“There’s too much information on Twitter”: In some ways we would agree, but you have total control over whom and how many people you follow. Keep your network focused and follow only those that you find meaningful, informative and interesting. ‘Unfollow’ the ones that only Tweet meaningless babble.
“People don’t care what video you are watching now”: Again this is largely true, but people do care if you have found a great YouTube video that will help them solve a problem they might be having. Always keep your Tweets focused on relevant and interesting topics that are helpful and likely to add value to others, otherwise you will lose your followers.
“Follow only those that are following you”: Absolutely not! Only follow those that you find interesting and meaningful. Focus on quality over quantity every time. You can use Twitter to foster and enhance relationships and selectively listen to only those that you choose to. Twitter is not about getting as many connections as possible.
“All your followers will read your Tweets”: Unlikely, but this might happen if your followers are following only a few people. Many people follow hundreds or even thousands of people. You can only get an overview of the activity and Tweets that are occurring.
“I need lots of followers to make a success of Twitter”: Many people make the mistake of believing that the only way to be successful on Twitter is by having hundreds or even thousands of followers. Once they have built their following they believe they will easily be able to market their message. Yes it is true that if you have thousands of followers and you post an update that more people will see it, but as mentioned above hard-selling rarely works on any social media channel. The real power of Twitter is in its real-time search engine.
The Twitter search platform is arguably the best ‘real-time’ search engine available today. You can search for anything that has been posted on Twitter in real-time – i.e posts made just a few seconds ago will appear in your search results!
99% of all searches start with a question. Just imagine how powerful it is to be able to answer these questions in real-time!
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