Despite the fact that with more than 270 million active users, Twitter is consistently retaining its position as a leading social network; and despite the fact that more and more media scandals, news coverage, celebrity confessions and public debates take place on the platform, many small businesses still prefer to stay out of the Twitter game and invest their time and energy on other social channels.
To some extent, this is the result of widespread beliefs about Twitter that are common amongst newbies and non-savvy internet users. Twitter, unlike Facebook, has a more particular appeal that attracts a specific type of web user. Not everyone gets it, but a lot do. In fact, many people are such die-hard addicts of tweeting that it is mistaken to simply give up on Twitter without even trying.
But what can cause such deep-rooted reluctance to give Twitter a shot despite of its ongoing success? We will now explore Twitter myths and false beliefs that deter business owners especially from engaging through tweets. As we look into these misconceptions more closely, we’ll emphasize strategies and techniques that can help professionals as they make their first steps on Twitter:
1. You Can’t Really Say Anything with 140 Characters
False! The real way to look at the Twitter length limitation is that if you can’t say it in 140 characters, then something is wrong with your messaging.
If you briefly go over a sample of successful Twitter accounts (let’s say, Conan O’Brien’s, Ariana Huffington’s, or the Dalai Lama’s) you will see that people are able to educate, entertain, inspire, inform, question and communicate with very few words. It’s all a matter of phrasing.
2. Only Techies and Online Marketers Use Twitter
If you think that only hardcore tech geeks or networking-crazed media professionals are using Twitter as a communication tool, why don’t you have a look at this table of the most popular Twitter accounts right now. Somewhere between Katy Perry, the NBA channel and Bill Gates you’ll get a sense of how varied the audience on Twitter actually is.
3. You Must Tweet Non-Stop to Make It Work
This myth is not only wrong, it is probably counterproductive for anyone trying to get real traction on Twitter. Maintaining a balanced tweeting rate helps you optimize the reach that your tweets have.
If you neglect to update your channel for days and then suddenly post a series of tweets every 30 seconds, you may as well be tweeting in the dark. We recommend to space your tweets (using an online tool like Buffer, for instance) and to create a steady frequency that does not spam your followers’ timelines.
4. Twitter Is Impossible to Analyze and Learn From
Not only do small business users have a variety of tools to measure their Twitter activity with, not doing so would be foolish. Analyzing your Twitter performance is critical for improving your strategy on this social platform.
For one, you can use Twitter’s own tracking tool. There are also plenty of external apps that will measure Twitter activity for you, like Twitter Counter, Twitonomy or Commun.it. These tools will tell you which tweets get the greatest volume of engagement and which have the widest reach, as well as who are the top members of your community and how people talk about your brand.
5. It’s All about Getting Retweets
While retweets (also known as RT’s) are a powerful way to expand your audience and recruit new followers, they are also the most difficult type of interaction to get from the Twitter crowd. Seeing that retweets are such a valuable communication tool, many new Twitter users develop the wrong sense that retweets are the only effective function that Twitter offers.
The truth is that much of the communication on Twitter is done on a personal level, by engaging with specific groups or users, participating in ongoing conversations or encouraging a dialog with existing or potential followers. This type of interaction may reach less people than retweets, but it is no less powerful for brands and businesses who are trying to develop a solid presence on Twitter.
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