Do you feel like every time you sign in to Twitter all you see is bots and spam? Where are the conversations? Where is the social in social media?
A Lesson from Indiana Jones
In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, our hero finds himself in a strangely quiet neighborhood.
It looks like people are in the houses watching TV and the kids are playing outside. Upon further investigation they’re only posed mannequins.
For the sake of argument, let’s run with Scott Stratten‘s analogy that “automating tweets is like sending a mannequin to a networking event.” That premise accepted, it is my belief that Twitter is in danger of becoming a nuclear test site.
Why? It’s simple. There’s a whole lot of tweets, but not a whole lot of conversation.
Where Are the Conversations?
I’ve noticed in the past six months or so that while scrolling through the home feed, it’s difficult to find tweets that are good enough for a response.
Spend time replying instead of just pushing the retweet button. The retweet button (without the comment retweet) stops the conversation.
Easy for You Isn’t Interesting to Your Audience
If you want to be interesting, be interesting or retweetable. I am no stranger to telling people to stop auto posting from other social networks.
People are using cross-posting as a way to make social easy.
I tweeted to a local car dealership two weeks ago. No response. Not surprisingly, their tweets were “posted” from Facebook.
At best “tweeting from Facebook” is bad form. But if you never come back to Twitter to see if anyone responded, then why are you even on Twitter? Keeping up an appearance with no engagement is like living a lie.
Facebook isn’t the only culprit by any stretch of the imagination. We all tweet with some degree of frequency our Swarm and Yelp checkins, Instagram photos, and Pinterest posts.
Be Intentional With Social Posting on Twitter
Be intentional with your content on Twitter. Choose which Instagram shot you want to share with your following. Post some (not all) of your check-ins and make them count. Tweet out a link to your new Pinterest board. Mix it up. Be interesting.
Be Present. Spend more time reading and responding to tweets from your home feed than posting about yourself.
Just like the fake neighborhood in Indiana Jones, the infrastructure is there for our habitation and enjoyment. Whether or not we use it to build community, is up to us.
(Originally published January 24, 2013. Updated October 11, 2019.)