Is tweeting an art or a science? It’s both, I think. For the science aspect, tweets are analyzed and tallied via various algorithms. There are also basic tenets of building and managing a Twitter feed. What about the tweet content itself, though? Does it matter? Absolutely. There are definitely some concepts to keep in mind while crafting tweets that will affect your online presence. This is the art factor. For some examples, read on!
Updated: December 28, 2012
There are some basic requirements to maintaining a Twitter presence, a fact upon which I believe there is general agreement. There are posts online that continually point out the following items.
- Tweet consistently – daily if possible
You have to be out there, active in the community. You have to continually be visible.
- Provide quality content to your followers
Establishes your reputation as an expert, and helps you stand out from the crowd. It’s also been noted that the quality of your content matters over the number of followers.
- Engage your users
It’s not enough to broadcast information, particularly information only about yourself. You must engage in conversation. Start up some conversations. Share some info. It’s fun. Why miss out on that?
Between the Lines
After tweeting for almost two years, I’ve noticed a few things. There are some considerations you might want to consider when tweeting. This is where art takes over science. Review the sections below for examples.
Use Positive Wording
Every word counts. One way this true is whether you’re including positive or negative words. This, like everything else these days, is analyzed and tracked. Once I found this particular tracking item, I’ve watched what I say very carefully. I’ve even gone so far as to stop retweeting items linking to posts that have negative terms in the title. I also now make sure my own post names include only positive terms. (Not that I generally have negative terms in post titles. I’m just much more aware of content.)
Why? I want to keep my tweets categorized as either “positive” or “neutral” on socialmention.com, one of a number of Twitter analytics apps. Two examples follow. They’re for my 2moroDocs Twitter feed, and selection of “microblog” from the top of the page.
Do you see the little green buttons? That means the tweet has been ranked as positive. No color means neutral. Red means negative. I rarely get a negative, but have included an example below so you can see the type of term to avoid. The small chart to the left shows your rating.
I had to dig to find one, but here it is. From what I can gather, I believe the word “trouble” in the tweet flagged it as a negative. That’s a guess. In actuality, “trouble” in this instance was actually a positive thing (you want to have busy Twitter chats). However, some algorithm is looking for certain words. So here it is, tagged as a negative.
One More Thought
This is a free app. Anyone can look up a Twitter feed or other online presence item here. Would you like a potential employer to see that you have more negative tweets than positive? If you’re a company, would you hire someone to represent you online that uses negative terminology frequently?
Watch your wording! Look up your own Twitter feed (and others) and see what gets flagged as positive or negative to get some insight into how to word your tweets. At this point, I don’t focus on including a certain number of positive terms in tweets; there’s no need to try to increase some numbers of some sort or anything like that. Just tweet normally and avoid negative terms. Personally, I really don’t think about it much. I’ve never focused on writing negative tweets anyway; I keep things as positive as I can. It’s just something to keep in mind. Review your listings once in a while, see how your words are received, and make adjustments from that point on if need be.
Choose Your Bio Description Carefully
Your bio wording in Twitter is very important. This isn’t the time or place to be clever. Why? Demographics. One app I review is TwitterAnalyzer.com. A main reason is because I can check demographics of my audience. It uses information and titles listed in Twitter bios in the calculations. Here’s a screenshot for my 2moroDocs account for Groups > Groups by Occupation. You can see how my followers are categorized and percentages for each. After seeing this, I went back and changed my bio to include terms under which I wanted to be found and categorized. Note that this is a free app. While I can’t say how other apps track demographics, it would not surprise me in the least to find that they use the bio for information.
After checking demographics of my followers, I’ve changed tweet content strategies to ensure I was providing useful content to all my followers, not just one group. As my follower count increases, the demographics change some. This is something I check regularly.
Update: November 29, 2011
TwitterAnalyzer.com no longer exists. However, I’m leaving this screenshot here so you can see how analytics programs can track and use your information. I’m sure there are other apps that review the same information in the same manner.
What really strikes me with just these examples alone is how many places tweets show up and how many ways they’re analyzed. If that doesn’t give you pause, nothing will. Remember that one tweet can cause much damage. Always, always, always keep wording in mind.
Go to these apps and type in your account name. See how you’re analyzed and presented. You may be surprised! Check out some competitors. These are very useful apps.
We Can Help
These are just a few examples of what I’ve learned. I have others as well. I can apply what I’ve learned to help you present yourself in a positive manner. If you’d like, I could set up a review of your existing accounts and make suggestions for ways to tweak your content.