Learning Twitter: Lesson 8 Composing Content

Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson eight in a ten-part series.

In less than five minutes, I show you how to compose content in your tweet. How to tweet is easier said than done you think. Perhaps it’s because you haven’t thought about the things you will write.

What if I have nothing to say?

You may think  you have nothing to say. But I’ll challenge you and say that you absolutely have things to say. This is why you have customers. You started a business because you had skills and a passion. You worked hard to build it up. All of that matters. Your education matters. Your expertise matters.

Tweet out what you're passionate about. Why did you start this business? Let us all know. Click To Tweet

Composing original content and sharing that on Twitter shows off your expertise. Being a thought leader isn’t always about giving a TED Talk; it’s about influencing people around you. Mainly — your customers.

What if I have nothing to tweet?

You have a voice. You have something to say.

Believe me have ideas. You have your own style. You can add value to the world. Are you worried you’ll just state the obvious? Maybe the obvious isn’t that obvious.

“Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them. Maybe what’s obvious to me is amazing to someone else.” Derek Sivers 

Start an Idea File

Open up a text file, notes on your phone, or a Google Doc the next time you’re on a sales or customer service call.

  • What are some of the phrases you repeat?
  • What are some of the common questions from customers?
  • Are there words that clients don’t understand? Define them in a tweet.

Jot down your notes and put them into 180-260 words. Now, you have a library of tweets.

Send out one a day. And you’re publishing!

Yes, it’s that easy.

I have more tips in my post on content here.

Don’t forget to have fun!

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Learning Twitter: Lesson 7 Responding to Replies and Retweets

Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson seven in a ten-part series.

In this four minute video, I talk about engaging (which means being polite and responsive). Replying to tweets and retweeting is a great way to engage your audience.

It seems that a retweet is commonly accepted as a substitute for “thank you” or “you’re welcome.” And this is why the conversation is stopped.

Strategy: Why are you on Twitter?

Strategy determines tactics. If your main purpose on Twitter is to opine and to be known for such, then you’ll really like being retweeted and you can collect those stats like baseball cards, showing them off when your friends and family come to visit. Being retweeted in this scenario is a good thing (for the opiner). However, if you are the person retweeting, you get little to nothing out of your effort.

If your purpose to be on Twitter is to meet new people, then the conversation tactic is the one for you.

When you read a tweet, you have the choice, dare I say power, to reply. You have the ability to make that one person (or group of two) feel more comfortable.

“Twitter is a party that your neighbor’s brother-in-law’s mother is having. You won’t know ANYONE when you get there. How are you going to get through it? Easy. You start jumping in on conversations and learning about others, so you make friends. Talk about what THEY are talking about and, eventually, they will ask about YOU.” Amy Donohue

I have more tips in my post on conversations here.

Don’t forget to have fun!

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A Tour of WordPress’ Gutenberg with Bridget Willard

At Women Who WP’s Orange County Meetup 1-17-18, I gave a tour — a basic overview — of the features of Gutenberg and published a post live at GutenBridget.com.

Last year at WordCamp Europe, Gutenberg was announced as an editor replacement. In the final phase, it will be much more than that but as of now, it will be an editor replacement in WordPress 5.0.

It’s 2018, it’s time for WordPress to change it’s editor experience.
Instead of metaboxes, there will be blocks.

Gutenberg changes how you interact with WordPress. Try it. Study. Test it for yourself. Click To Tweet

Here is the video of the Live Stream from Facebook.

Bridget Willard gives a tour of Gutenberg.

Gutenberg Tour by Bridget Elizabeth Willard.

Slides http://bit.ly/2BaUMYX

Posted by Women Who WP on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg, eventually will change how you interact with WordPress. In it’s first inclusion into Core, will be a new editor experience.

“Gutenberg has three planned stages. The first, aimed for inclusion in WordPress 5.0, focuses on the post editing experience and the implementation of blocks. This initial phase focuses on a content-first approach. The use of blocks, as detailed above, allows you to focus on how your content will look without the distraction of other configuration options. This ultimately will help all users present their content in a way that is engaging, direct, and visual.
These foundational elements will pave the way for stages two and three, planned for the next year, to go beyond the post into page templates and ultimately, full site customization.” Gutenberg Team

Blocks Replace Meta Boxes

Instead of meta boxes, you interact with your content in blocks. Content includes video, images, headings, quotes, and, of course, text.

Highlights:

  • The plus sign allows you to add more boxes. Sometimes you have to hover to see it.
  • Plugins make their own types of blocks.
  • Themes control how a block looks. This is an opportunity for theme developers.
  • Blocks are determined in the code with CSS Commenting so you know what’s in block.
  • Even though paragraphs are in different blocks, each paragraph is output with paragraph tags and shouldn’t interfere with SEO implications.

Contextual Formatting

This means every block has its own control. Every plugin can create settings for their blocks. You may not see settings in the sidebar anymore. They may be in the settings.

“Gutenberg tries to identify all of these types of content properties so we can control it. It’s all based on blocks and block context.” Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Resources

Here are my slides

Learning Twitter: Lesson 6 Following People Back

Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson six of a ten-part series.

In this short video I cover why you should follow people back. Check them out, follow, list. That’s the simple plan.

When I recorded this video, Twitter’s buttons were different. Now the way you add people to a list is with the three dots. Here is a screenshot.

Following people back is the way to be social and to grow your account organically.
Following people back is the way to be social and to grow your account organically.

Why Follow Back? Answer: Following Ratios

It sucks when you don’t realize you can only follow 2000 people and then you hit a following wall, literally. You can’t follow anyone else unless more people follow you. If you followed no one back and are following 2000, you’ve got a lot of work to do, my friend, both to follow and unfollow. If you want to grow, you have to maintain the following to follower ratio.

There are additional glass ceilings that you hit, I (as @gidgey) hit another one at 5,000 and again 9,000. When I was doing @RigginsConst, I found them at 14,000 and 19,000 also.  It seems to me that the sweet spot is about 1:1 but Twitter says it depends on the individual account.

This is why I had to start unfollowing people who don’t follow back.  I really like who.unfollowed.me for this.

This is why I follow people back. The few exceptions are porn, how to get more users people, how to make money on the internet people, #TeamFollowBack (spammy, in my opinion), and eggs.

Like your cholesterol’s HDL versus LDL ratio, it’s important to shoot for a “good ratio.”  Carol Stephen

Only verfied accounts get to be non-follow-back-ers. This behavior can be viewed as arrogant, so proceed with caution. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason.

As Twitter says,

Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.

  • More Info: Twitter Help Center: FAQ about Following
  • Find someone to follow and follow them.  Do this at least five times.  Look at their list of followers, are any of them interesting to you?
  • Make lists: news, friends, whatever.  When you follow someone, put them on your list.  Read Carol Stephen’s post on why lists are useful:  “Twitter Lists for the Power User “and my post “Organizing Your Twitter Stream – Use Lists.”
  • Make it a regular habit (daily at least) to check your twitter account, thank those who have mentioned you, and follow back within reason.

And don’t forget to have fun.

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Learning Twitter: Lesson 5 Replying & Retweeting Others

Learning Twitter can be overwhelming. But, as with any task, breaking it down into smaller parts helps considerably. This is lesson five in a ten-part series.

In this five minute video, I talk about engaging (which means being polite and responsive). Replying to tweets and retweeting is a great way to engage your audience.

Not everyone on Twitter engages.  So that is just part of it. The less people you have following the more you have to work to engage in your home feed. If you want to have friends, be a friend. It’s up to you.

Here are some general tips.

  • The reply button is the most under-used button on Twitter. Twitter is about having conversations. People post, you respond.

  • I would use retweet sparingly but do it with style. I prefer old-school retweets which are a copy/paste version.

  • Answer questions by searching on Twitter. Presuming you’re a bakery, search for “cakes,” “cookies,” “bread.” Reply to some of those tweets. This is what Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee) did with WineLibrary.com. He sat on Twitter answering people’s questions about wine pairings. Now he’s a total social rockstar.
  • Sometimes you have to prime the pump. Support your friends and their businesses by replying to tweets and retweeting each other’s posts. It’s not cheating; it’s networking. Surely you have mutual friends who will support you, even if they’re in other industries.

Don’t forget to have fun.

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