Twitter. LinkedIn. Facebook. These and many other sites facilitate microblogging, which allow users to share thoughts or information in about 140 characters or less. Smart people and companies can use microblogging as a marketing, advertising or engagement tool. Here are several suggestions for maximizing the effects of your microblogging.
- Avoid sending “crap.” Here’s a newsflash: None of your professional contacts really cares what you ate for dinner, where you are at the moment, what your kids did at school or how you’re feeling emotionally. Keep those messages on your truly “social” social media channels. If you continue to microblog about superficial topics, people will tune you out — including when you post something worthwhile.
- Tailor your messages to your target audience. This sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how often microbloggers try to send “crossover” messages to different groups of people. Like discussing industry minutia with your general business contacts or linking to articles that have a very narrow appeal. Oh, and don’t adopt slang or texting lingo in microblog posts that you send to professional circles of people.
- Remember: Microblogging is a two-way street. You know how there’s always an individual in a group who drones on endlessly about himself/herself without actually engaging in true conversation? No one likes that person. So don’t be that microblogger. Interact with your followers and foster a collaborative atmosphere. It’s called “social” media for a reason, after all.
- Respond to feedback respectfully. If you microblog, rest assured that you will say something that someone else will not agree with. Even if they respond harshly or inappropriately, don’t get dragged into a nasty back-and-forth microblogging spat. You’re bound to lose standing in the social community, even if you do “win” the argument. Just state your position and keep your tone civil.
- Forward the posts/links of others. Since microblogging is ultimately a collaborative enterprise, don’t hesitate to forward the messages of other people in your social media circles, whether it be a comment, a link to an article or a request for assistance (adding a statement of your own to the thread is acceptable). This helps strengthen the overall microblogging experience for you and everyone else.
- Utilize link-shortening sites. There are plenty of sites and tools that can create shortened URL links for microblogging, so be sure to make use of them when forwarding a link. After all, 140 characters are not much, and you want to save as many of them as possible for your own message or comment.
- Consider a platform-sharing service. If you have several microblogging channels, it can be time-consuming to update all of them with the same or similar message. But there are online companies that can organize your channels and allow you to configure them so you can type one message and have it distributed to all of your microblogging platforms at once. It doesn’t cost much and only takes a short time to set up.
- Track your success. The reason you started microblogging is to achieve or further one or more goals. So how do you know if it’s working if you don’t evaluate your system? Use tracking tools to determine which of your messages are most read, commented on and/or forwarded. And try to figure out how many of your messages resulted in additional business or site page views.
Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes about topics ranging from buying auto insurance to navigating consumer finances to cleaning your gutters.