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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Personal thoughts on Twitter and follower counts


Here I'd like document various thoughts concerning my journey in Twitter, which I joined in 2009.

At first, I wasn't convinced that I would enjoy using it. Already feeling overwhelmed by the Information Age, I also noticed a lot of highly public yet personal (read: inappropriate or irrelevant for mass consumption) tweets as well as quite a lot of rude behaviour (ad hominem attacks). At the time of joining I had no Smartphone, and even now I have a severely minimalist data plan, so I don't tweet "on the go". Since I walk to work, checking the twitter stream on my commute is also fairly hazardous (although having said that, when I had a painful bus commute I relied on audio casts and preferred musical recordings stored in my iPod due to the ease with which I succumb to motion sickness.)

As of today, mostly due to the aforementioned circumstances, I still only have a handful of tweets. More depressingly, I've noticed some depletion of my followers (my record high was 164; as of today I have 157). However, I'm realizing the value of having a qualified audience, where those following are only folks who enjoy the overall mix of content that I publish.

A way to ensure that one's target audience finds one, as with regular web pages, is well researched hashtag and keyword use. More than a handful of fellow SEO enthusiasts/would-be opportunity marketers have found me on Twitter, I believe, due to the keywords I've been embedding near the start of many of my blog posts via the post titles.

When I initially started to blog in English this year, I did hand-craft my post announcement tweets. Eventually I lapsed into dependence on automated notices courtesy of networkedblogs, which is my most productive referral site. Due to its close integration (literally; they authenticate users via Facebook credentials) it cross-posts there most readily, and because most of my audience seems to know me personally, this isn't surprising either.

I've also consistently shared my tweets on Google Buzz (Google itself posts both new blog entries and notes update time(s) in Buzz), and sometimes on LinkedIn where I've relied on TypePad to list my blog entries, which it does perhaps too enthusiastically (every post used to appear twice, though I've since fixed this). "Write once, publish (presumably once) everywhere" makes sense not only logistically, but also in the consistency of the online persona one presents.

As many best practices as there are, there's also quite a few poor ones in the Twitterverse. One of the latter that I've tried to avoid personally, was gleaned first-hand via one of my roles at work as lead seeker: it's where someone repeatedly spams the same type of question, only offers marketing page links or otherwise shows no well-roundedness or individuality as a human. My micro-reviews of the occasional Arte music program and very infrequent dialogue with old school friends hopefully provide some insight into who I am, but for a time I scheduled #QotD (quotes of the day) to be pushed out around 4PM EST, to boost my tweet count.

I'll call it a (work)day now, but if you've made it this far, thank you. Feel free to follow and @ me on Twitter too. At your convenience and only if you wish to, of course.

About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.