A New Approach To Twitter

One of the most interesting aspects of Twitter is the different ways people approach the platform. My usage has evolved a lot since I first joined back in 2009. Initially I used Twitter for consumption, following interesting people and companies to periodically check in on what they had to say. In 2013 I began using Twitter for personal sharing, things like anecdotes, quotes, random observations — in many ways Twitter became my own little micro journal. In early June I made the decision to focus on content sharing. Or, to borrow some terms from Rutgers, I decided to become an informer rather than a meformer.

Both approaches are perfectly fine and each person has to identify which one aligns most with their goals for the platform. I wanted more interaction with business and customer service folks and improving the content of my own feed was a way to build better connections and give back to those who follow me. Here were the three major shifts I made:

1. Queuing Posts

For the last few weeks I’ve been rocking out with Buffer, a web/mobile app that lets you queue tweets and automatically post them according to a custom schedule. Buffer enabled me to increase my output while also spending less overall time on Twitter. Nowadays if I see an article that is particularly informative or inspiring I can quickly add it to my queue. Buffer has also subtly shaped how I digest content. I frequently ask myself, “Is this something that a coworker or one of my followers would enjoy?” On Buffer’s Awesome Plan you can sync up to 15 RSS feeds so you can queue content directly from your favorite sources. Buffer has another nifty tool called Pablo that lets you quickly generate engaging images for your posts. The tools Buffer provides are seriously fantastic and have made this whole process way easier.

2. Following More

I’ve heard it said that Facebook is for your friends and Twitter is for the people you wish were your friends. There is a bit of truth there, as Twitter makes it super easy to interact with those outside your physical sphere of influence. Each day I spend a few minutes checking my suggestions and follow accounts that look intriguing. As much as I can I make it a point to interact with what others are posting, particularly if I found the content helpful or encouraging. I’ve loved expanding my network a bit and have already started chatting with some really inspiring people. Breaking out of my own circle and meeting new influences online has helped me develop personally and professionally even over the last few weeks.

3. Twitter Chatting

This is a recent discovery for me, but Twitter chats can be seriously helpful (and fun). If you aren’t familiar, a Twitter chat is a group conversation under a shared hashtag. There are plenty of great chats out there, covering a lot of different topics. I’ve personally been enjoying #BufferChat. I’ve found that their chat covers broad ideas which are applicable in multiple ways. As a General Manager I’ve got my hands in customer service, marketing, fulfillment, culture building, hiring, internal communication, networking…the list could go on and on. Participating in a chat that touches on ideas that can apply to all of these areas is super convenient.

What has changed since I started?

Quite a lot actually. Let me share some neat data from my analytics dashboard:

Total Impressions: 3,423 in May compared to 61,500 in June

Profile Visits: 161 in May compared to 4,428 in June

New Followers: 77 in May compared to 269 in June

The growth there is quite astounding to me, and all without trying too hard. Simply sharing more relevant and interesting content, taking the time to reply and interact with those who inspire me, and jumping into #BufferChat has really revolutionized the way I’m using social media.

I’m really interested to hear if any of you all have gone through a social media shift. If so, what things did you change and what was most helpful?

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