Twitter is considered to be at the top of the social media food chain. There are many misconceptions about the social media giant partly due to its prominence and also due to the obscurity underlying social’s efficacy. Below is a list of the top 5 misconceptions about Twitter.
1. Twitter is an inauthentic space for self-promoters
Users can build strong followings by connecting with their audience through legitimate, meaningful conversation around a particular topic. Despite the popularity of this strategy amongst social media influencers, much of the public views Twitter as a site rife with self-promotion. This conception has some validity as there are plenty of Twitter account holders who do post messages and content that only endorse themselves. However, there may be many more users who use the social network to post their mundane day-to-day experiences. Twitter should not be employed as a channel to vent your thoughts, either. There are many types of Twitter users out there. Sometimes different institutions try to to generalize the Twitter-verse into key types, like in this Forbes article, but you’ll find many variances amongst the concocted sets of personas.
2. My tweets should be saturated with hashtags
You know, hashtags, those hyperlink-connected words or phrases with a number sign in front of them found in many a tweet? They should not comprise every single word in a tweet. Tweets full of hashtags will annoy your audience and are likely to get disregarded. Hashtags should be used thoughtfully and minimally in tweets. A good rule of thumb is to include a maximum of 2 hashtags per tweet. It is also a good idea to research what hashtags are in use for your subject matter/industry.
3. I can reach celebrities and get responses
The perceived connectivity through Twitter and other social media is an illusion. Although everyone on twitter can reach out to others, including high profile users and celebrities, it doesn’t mean they will ever see your message or respond. Public figures and stars, even those famous for their social media usage, do not have time to reply to every mention and DM (Direct Message) sent their way. They may receive several hundred contact attempts daily. In many cases, particularly with celebrities, these famed individuals have PR agencies in charge of their social accounts. This isn’t to say that you can’t try to build a connection with high profile Twitter users, but much time, care, patience and a strong dose of sheer luck would be involved.
4. Everyone sees all my tweets and I see everyone else’s tweets
As of August 2014, Twitter reported 271 million monthly active users, with 500 million tweets sent per day. The average user’s tweets will likely get lost in all the noise. It’s good to have a realistic expectation for the response, or lack-there-of your tweets will receive. As a basic principle of marketing, increasing your brand’s visibility requires a strategy and time to implement it. With effort, persistence, authenticity and time you can get more eyeballs on your tweets.
5. It’s all the same
This is one of the most unfortunate misconceptions about Twitter and social media in general. Each social network is unique and requires its own strategy. Each social media platform provides different benefits depending on a brand’s industry. There are some similar functions to be found amongst the various social media sites, but the usage is distinct.
Twitter has grown to become one of the most prominent social media networking sites out there. The website’s growth in popularity has minimized the number of false impressions surrounding the social media giant, but still many misconceptions about Twitter persist.
One last tip: focus more on starting great conversations and tweeting quality content than just gaining followers. Your follower count will go up as a result, possibly more slowly at first, but the quality of your followers will be much higher than if you were to just connect with the #followback-ers… #JustSaying.