Thursday, 13 January 2011

Take Back Control of your Twitter Stream

Like some other social networking platforms, Twitter can be mentally exhausting. Facebook, Hi5, Twitter, LinkedIn and MyBlogLog - there are dependencies between these services and the number of hours lost to procrastination can increase day by day. It can be very interesting following events in real time, but spending 8 hours a day socializing with people on the Internet it a bit too much. People can send Twitter statuses from wherever they are about almost everything they do. Although this is actually the basic idea, it can result in you spending way too much time looking at information and news that is irrelevant.

Twitter is amazing at getting up to date information – and is currently one of the best places to find out the real story behind what is happening at the moment.  But like 24-hour news reports, we can end up getting too much information.  We see someone we think we should follow as they may impart useful information.  In the end, we can end up with hundreds or thousands of people that we follow, and the data stream becomes unmanageable.

To avoid this, here is some advice for beginners:

  1. Only follow people that post relevant information for your interests.

  2. Try to set up some priorities and do not get involved in discussions on Twitter. You’ll wake up when it's already dark outside and you'll regret it.

  3. Use Twitter on the phone only in special occasions. Invites to go out for a beer are to be made by SMS or phone call, rather than staring at the phone.

  4. Every month, have a cull of people that you follow.  If they haven’t been sending you useful information, it’s time for them to go.

  5. Save some discussion topics for your live meetings. People will end up meeting and just smiling at each other, there will nothing more to actually talk about, because it already been spoken about on Twitter.  More importantly, don’t do all of your dealings online.  In the end, a physical meeting will have much more impact than an online discussion.

  6. Forget about how many followers you have. The main mistake Twitter users make is that they do not set up a category of people they are really interested in, or they can get useful information from.   They end up following people who are following them out of politeness, whether or not this person is actively contributing useful chatter.

About the author:

Claire Jarrett runs Marketing By Web, who provide Google AdWords Management


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