Archive Another look at Twitter

Another look at Twitter

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‘Sola Fagorusi

No social media platform owns the moment like Twitter. It is the most preferred location for breaking news. It is also the ideal spot for opinions on almost everything. Everything is share there – from the important to the most mundane of things. An estimated 6,500 tweets are released by users of the platform every second. Despite Twitter’s growing fame, investors are yet to consistently smile to the bank. Twitter’s archive is however one of the most prized possession of the platform. It allows both registered and unregistered users access to it. Twitter is that social media platform where messages are read and can be sent in a maximum of 140 characters. Unlike emails, tweets simply scroll as users release them providing a running commentary on the timeline of other users. With over 300 million active users out of over 500 million users, Twitter still remains a potent force in the social media firmament. Twitter cannot be ignored given the level of connectedness it allows. There are several Gigabytes of articles out there on how to use Twitter and the basics of Twitter use. This piece’s interest lies in the several other Twitter-related applications and sites and some not-so-common information about this app that has made humans share tweeting characteristics with birds.

Hashtags are the most prominent of the revolution Twitter started. Anyone can create a hashtag and it is the easiest way for people to track specific conversation threads. For those willing to successfully engage Twitter for events or programmes, setting an agenda for the event and telling people what would be happening and what you would have them do is usually the first step. Design graphics and possibly press releases with specifics of the event in the same way you would for a real world event. Create a buzz around it and ask friends who would be participating to also do same. On the set date, ensure your moderators are available and have Internet service backup and fully charged devices. After the online event, use tweetreach.com to evaluate and know how far your tweets went. It would tell you the estimated reach, the impressions, the number of activities (tweet, retweets). It would also let you know the top contributors, most retweeted tweets while at the same time giving you the tweets timeline and the list of contributors.

There is also a tad of timing issues when it comes to the use of Twitter. Professionals should know that the highest volume of retweets happen between 3pm and 7pm with the most retweeting time of the day being 4pm. It however does not mean that with the right publicity, successful Twitter deployment cannot also happen outside this period.

For the individual professional, whatever it is who you are interested in or into, search possible hastags for it and follow the people who have tweeted using such hashtags. It’s also tidy to treat your tweets as part of your curriculum vitae. Users also need to ensure they are retweetable both in terms of content and in terms of space. NJI Media research shows that 53% of Twitter users retweet other users and 57% of retweets include a link.  It’s good to always leave about 4 character space needed for ‘RT:’ to be added to your tweet(s). In some quarters, the rule is to refuse to see Twitter as a 140 characters micro-blogging site but instead that of 125 characters. This is to encourage people to add comments to the retweets and increase your exposure.  And there is that part when you also need to tweet consistently; and not constantly especially if it’s not a serious social issue of sort. You do not want people asking if you have a job!

If you can’t afford to be rude in the real world, then do not be rude or overly sarcastic on Twitter. If someone hits you hard; it easy, simply unfollow the person instead of throwing darts. You can also do a self-assessment on Twitter to know how well your tweets or retweets are fairing using the Twitter grader or Klout.

Research also shows that it pays to include your links in the middle of the tweets and not at the end of the tweets since it would look different appeal to the eyes well enough to elicit action. It’s perfect to use a URL shortener like – goo.ly to conserve space (it reduces the link to fewer letters without compromising the destination of the link).

Twitter serves good purposes at conferences, workshops and training. In this new age, it is wrong to sent pre-information to participants without sending them a hashtag with which they can start discussions around issues that will be talked about at the workshop. During the training itself, it is also good to encourage participants to continue the discussions and ask questions using the hashtag. The after and between sessions can get livelier when the backchannels and tweets are displayed on the projector. My favourite for this is www.visibletweets.com; it has an amazing view. Simply log on to the site and key in the hashtag being used and the site aggregates them and starts beaming same on the screen depending on the animation you choose – letter by letter, tag cloud or rotation. Others that can serve same purpose are tweetwally and twitterfall.

Professionals love using PowerPoint during presentation. It can also have tweets embedded the same way videos, charts and pictures are embedded in PowerPoint slides. But first, users would need to install the liveweb PowerPoint add-in plug before this can function. Thereafter, the URL is copied and pasted in the display mode of the slide from where the live tweets would be displayed and set to refresh automatically.

And to see who unfollowed you, use www.useqwitter.com; not forgetting Twuffer that allows users compose future tweets and schedule their release. It is not an exhaustive list. I tweet @SolaFagro and you can share others with me.

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