Microblogging. It’s fun, it’s useful. Twitter, Shout’Em and other microblogging platforms are fast becoming not just another way to pass the time, but also tools that we use to collaborate with each other on a daily basis. However, it can get tedious when you do it daily. Here are 25 simple ways you can get your microblogging habits back on track:
Get out and micro-mingle
Every day, the same old followers and fans. With Twitter and every other microblogging network on the planet growing fast, there’s a lot of new people you need to tweet with. Get out your 140-character-charm and get going:
1. Follow one new user at a time
There’s no need to hurry and follow dozens of new faces immediately. Take your time. Browse your friend’s follower lists and find people who genuinely interest you. Follow and get to know them. Only then you should follow others.
2. Un-follow casual spammers
You know them. You might even be a casual spammer yourself. Taking about yourself, your projects and what you’re doing all the time. Bragging isn’t nice, so don’t feel bad for un-following people and companies who only tweet about themselves.
3. Follow your real life neighbours
Twitter users in your country, town, neighbourhood? You might know a lot of them, but if you don’t, there are a few simple ways to find them. The simplest way is to use Twitter Search. Twellowhood and Twitterlocal both let you find Twitter users next to you in a few clicks. Do you use an iPhone? Tweetie, Twinkle and other Twitter applications offer locating nearby Twitter users!
4. Find a topic and follow the experts
Interested in web design? Follow Vitaly of Smashing Magazine! Want to start a blog? Darren “Problogger” Rowse is your guy! Love horses? Horsetweet is a must… You can find experts and insiders on almost any topic on Twitter or even on a specialized microblogging network.
5. Follow your “enemies”
You might not agree with them, but their arguments could be valid. The great thing about the web is that you choose what you want to see. Unfortunately, the flip side is that we tend to ignore people we don’t agree with. Why not follow Andrew Keen, the Anti Christ of Silicon Valley? You might end up learning something new.
Tweak your tools
On the PC, Mac or mobile, we’ve found ways to microblog anywhere and anytime. With the hundreds of applications that help us tweet, it might just be time to ease up. Shut down? Check it out:
6. Remove your desktop Twitter client
No, you don’t need it. It’s a distraction – admit it. Oh, you still have notifications turned on? Including sound notifications? Maybe that’s the reason your work is suffering. Turn off your desktop Twitter client, uninstall it. After the initial shock, doesn’t that feel better?
7. Use the web interface
Hey, we didn’t say you should quit Twitter. You might have not used the web interface since 2006., but it’s still here. Weird, isn’t it. So simple, and it actually works!
8. Use your mobile phone
iPhone, Nokia or any other mobile phone – you can tweet with it! Use the mobile interface or an iPhone application, or even (gasp!) send an update via SMS!
9. Check out some Twitter apps
There’s a lot of them around, if you haven’t noticed. Twittervision, Twitterfeed, Tweetscan, Twistori, Twitpic, Twitscoop, Twittercounter, Tweetlater, Hahlo, TwitThis, Tweetag, The Mattinator, TwitLinks,…
10. Check out another microblogging platform
The time to tweet is now!
If you’re tired of Twitter, you’re probably spending too much time tweeting. Maybe you’re spending not enough time tweeting? In any case, here’s what you need to do:
11. Schedule when you’re going to tweet
The best way to get more stuff done is to limit the time you have to get it done. The same could be said for tweeting. Schedule a period when you’re going to reply to all your DMs and replies, as well as schedule future tweets. This will keep you focused and save valuable minutes you could have been wasting during the rest of the day.
12. Schedule your tweets
Scheduling individual tweets is far more easier with web applications such as CoTweet, Tweetlater or Hootsuite. In the period you’ve dedicated to microblogging, schedule everything you want to tweet. It can be things to go out through out the day, the week, maybe even the month.
13. Don’t use Twitter for instant messaging
It’s so easy to talk to your friends via replies on Twitter. Multiuser instant messaging? Yep. Don’t do it. Chatting is nice, but you have MSN, Skype, AIM, ICQ and a ton of other services that let you do that more efficiently.
14. Take a break from Twitter
Feeling burned out? Take a break from Twitter for a few days. If you rely on Twitter generating traffic to your website or blog, schedule links for the days you’re gone.
Post something a little different
You might be spending all your time tweeting what you’re doing. You might be tweeting with your friends. Whatever you’re doing, it’s a good bet it’s getting really old, really fast. Shake it up:
15. Post a link
You’re on the web! It’s interesting! Post that funny article! Share that video or inspiring photo with your friends… Forget e-mail chain mails and tweet it.
16. Livetweet an event
Haven’t you always wanted to liveblog a conference or concert? Well, here’s your chance to do it with your microblog. Put up a hashtag (#eventname) and start tweeting. Oh, and don’t forget to tell everyone when you’re going to do it.
17. Help other Twitter users
While organizations like Mozilla and Comcast are going out of their way to solve our problems related to their industries on Twitter, why can’t we do the same? You’re a PR professional? Setup a custom search for “PR”! Live CSS? Do the same for “web standards”. Help your fellow tweep and build your credibility in the same time.
Get real with Twitter
We might spend a lot of time online, but we do live in the real world. Why not get real with microblogging and…
18. Attend a Tweetup
Tweetups are Twitter meetups. With Twitter users meeting all around the world, from San Francisco to Zagreb, why don’t you meet your fellow tweep?
19. Organize a Tweetup
No Tweetups in your area? Organize your first Tweetup! Get the local Twitter users together for beer and conversations of more than 140 characters.
Get serious about microblogging
Microblogging is a game to some, and a job to others. With Twitter as well as niche microblogging networks fast becoming more and more popular, leverage their popularity:
20. Become a professional Twitter user
21. Make a change, champion a cause
Charity Water raised over $250.000 with the Twestival events. Charities have been among the first to realize the power of social media, so why not retrace their steps and raise awareness for charities and causes you support?
Cure microblogging block
Stuck on what to tweet? Don’t worry, there are actually a couple of ways to get inspired:
22. Be inspired by your fellow Twitter user
Hopefully, you’ve added a couple of new people to your stream while reading this guide. Now let yourself be inspired by them! Follow artists, musicians, writers, journalists,… Follow people who practice what they preach and whose thoughts on various topics should inspire your own.
23. Be inspired by bloggers
The few, the proud, the bloggers. They were here before the whole microblogging craze. Interestingly, Ev Williams (co-founder of Twitter) also co-founded Blogger, which as eventually acquired by Google. Blog. Microblog. Anyways, blogs are still hot, so don’t ignore them. In the worse case, they’ll give you something to tweet about.
24. Build on the ideas of others
Lots of Twitter applications are trying to power Twitter conversations. Someone starts a topic, others reply and in no time at all – there’s a new trend. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot less spam in the trending topics and a lot more of the true conversations that you can participate in, that are going on as we tweet.
25. Give credit where credit is due
I’m not just talking about crediting your retweets, but also participating in #followfridays and other events that highlight your favorite microbloggers. Why? People like recommendations. By recommending others, you yourself will get noticed. In any case, recommend people that are doing good stuff. It’s nice. 🙂
That’s it. Use all of the tips or just some of them. Take a break or change what you’re doing, but don’t stop the tweeting. Microblogging is just getting started! What are your tips?