Social Media

Effective Social Media


Example: Twitter

Introduction

T his is not a beginner’s guide. Once you have been using Twitter for at least three (3) months, the following efficiency tips will come into their greatest relevance, utility & maximum personal benefit.

Of the seven basic issues of life (Energy, Food, Identity, Money, Sex, Space & Time) only Time is lost for good, once wasted. This makes time the most precious resource. Using Twitter inefficiently is a waste of time and means you can end-up with an unnecessarily-negative view of social media.

Effective Content

A healthy respect for reality helps build your reputation, your credibility & the likelihood that people will Follow you.

Given the 140‑character limit on Tweets, it is essential to say what you have to say in as few words as possible – it also forces you to think and write clearly. This is an excellent discipline for clear communication on the Internet and is Twitter’s USP.

Do not waste other people’s time – or your own – by offering insubstantive Tweets, with insubstantive headlines. Tweets should contain substantive content – either an opinion based on facts &/or the facts, themselves – not mere speculation, as this wastes the time of others (which you, yourself, would not want wasted by others).

This market research reveals the biggest problem with human communication: Small talk. Tweets should contain answers to the questions of Kipling’s Six Wise Men: What? Why? When? How? Where? Who? – the most important being Why? Tweets should avoid asking questions because it then looks as though you do not know these answers and are, thus, less credible than someone who does – or, at least, claims to. Tweets should simply make clear, information-laden statements that make the reader want to click the link. (This makes requesting Follows redundant: Your content should be your tacit request for Tweeters to follow you.)

DOs & DON’Ts

Do not add @Usernames to your Tweets (unless they are already there in a Retweet) and you should add no more than two #Hashtags. To do so is laziness as it leaves you with less space to comment and others, therefore, with less idea as to what the @Username links refer to and, more importantly, whether they should use their time clicking them.

The View conversation button allows you to see what interesting people are saying, not simply to waste time finding out what just anyone is saying.

Retweets are best avoided. If you have the time, you should go to any website link in the Tweet and post to Twitter from there, if possible. This makes it look as though you are not just Retweeting other people’s work and the website you link to may, itself, be of additional interest (that you would not discover if you did not visit it). If your time is short, then feel free to resort to Retweeting from Twitter. (Do not waste time doing both – one or the other.)

Do not waste time Muting people – Block them outright and move on.

Do not waste time Favoriting people with Likes – Reply or Retweet and/or move on.

Images

Do not Turn images off – they should be used to communicate ideas as effectively as possible.

Photographs should be used whenever they help convey the ideas you are expressing. It is a fallacy to say a picture is worth a thousand words as it is a fallacy to pretend facts can speak for themselves. If the former were true, then talking pictures would never have been invented; if the latter were true, facts would not require interpretation via scientific theories – one would then live in a contextless vacuum of knowledge without a concretizing understanding of those facts.

Humor

It is better to avoid such activities as burlesque, caricature, irony, parody, sarcasm & satire – unless you really are a Jane Austen, a George Orwell &/or a Jonathan Swift. Such statements can easily be misinterpreted by being taken literally; causing unnecessary offense.

It is best to just speak in simple language what you really think or know or feel.

Expressive Clarity

Clarity of thought helps clarity of expression helps clarity of comprehension. Twitter is not just a private members’ club solely for the cognoscenti.

Communication is maximized when it is transparent, not when it is opaque; otherwise, it is as unedifying as listening to someone talking to themselves &/or thinking-out-loud. And if you are not on Twitter to communicate something of value to others, then why are you on Twitter?

Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct, since it gives the impression that you actually have something worthwhile to say and are concerned-enough to say it. Otherwise, poor grammar and spelling suggests you do not know what you are talking about if you do not write as an educated and informed person would.

Avoid slang so that non-native speakers can understand you; thereby, hopefully, increasing your audience. Twitter is global, so ensure you address those who do not know what you are talking about.

Similarly, do not use abbreviations – they can alienate newcomers to social media for no benefit to anyone.

Time-Wasting

Do not Post just for the sake of Posting or on a schedule. The latter simply produces the former; while wasting other Twitter’s time with waffle and filler material.

Do not waste your time reading other people’s Bios - they usually say who the person is, not what the person is about – and nobody is interesting enough to be followed just because of whom they are. (Bios are more decorative than they are informative.)

Read anyone’s first three (3) Tweets to realistically ascertain whether they are worth following. People who are vague or who endlessly‑speculate in the absence of facts are never worth following. They lack the courage to say what they mean and mean what they say (the ultimate criterion when making such a decision).

Better Leading than Following; Better Sharing than Leading

Following #Hashtag Trends is a waste of time, unless those you follow represent causes you are passionate-enough about. Only you can realistically-decide what your priorities are here; bearing in mind that trends are akin to fads, fashions & moments – they soon pass because truth is not democratic.

If a post is written in a language you do not understand, select View photo – if available – to get an approximate idea as to whether this Tweeter is worth Following; otherwise, Block them or learn the language, since they are merely taking-up space on your Twitter account for no valid purpose.

If someone Follows you, automatically Follow them. It is far more likely that they are as interesting as you are (if, indeed, you are interesting) if they Follow you, than if they do not; otherwise, why would they Follow you? You will soon find-out from their Tweets whether they are interesting enough for you to continue to follow. Any Vias in Tweets can also be useful sources of interesting information about the world.

Better to have more Followers than Followees, but this is rarely possible, since you are probably less interesting than others who might wish to Follow you.

Direct messages

Direct messages seem pointless to me – unless you are trying to sell something, meet-up in real life or form a shared interest group. Social media does not seem designed for this.

Blocking other Tweeters

If you find other Tweeters wasting your time with insubstantive Tweets, with insubstantive headlines, that do not make you want to select their Tweets, they should be Blocked. Such people are simply trying to get you to click their clickbait Tweets with come‑ons like: I looked over into my neighbor’s garden and saw something awesome!. Yet, they never, ever see any such thing.

Advertising should also be automatically Blocked since they never offer any reason to select their Tweets, other than the implied: You will be sorry if you don’t.

The best Tweets follow standard journalistic practice (not marketing, publicity nor advertising standards) of giving a headline that summarizes the content. This gives you a fair chance of not clicking a link that will lead to a subject that is either of no interest to you or just downright dull, in itself. (Just like interesting people in the real world, Tweeters have no need to pretend to be more interesting than they actually are, they already are interesting – and they know it.)

I Block Tweeters for the same reasons I avoid many people in real life.

Objectivity

Objective reasons include posts that are:

  1. Ad hominem – not ad rem;
  2. ideological, propagandist & rhetorical – not realistic;
    1. vested & self-interested – not concerned with objective reporting;
      1. lack perspective – not able to see things in-the-round;
      2. desire to manipulate the gullible – not a desire to stand on one’s own two feet;
    2. obsessed with baseless adulation, demagoguery & hagiography – not fact-based criticism;
    3. speculative – not empirical;
    4. lacking in anything of substance to say – not pointed comments;
    5. claiming expertise – not demonstrating expertise;
    6. cynical & nihilistic;
    7. humorous – not many a true word is spoken in jest; eg, unlike The Onion);
    8. schizophrenic propagandists – not clear-eyed truth-seekers;
    9. paranoiac trivializers – not focused on what is most important with any issue;
  3. using clickbait pronouns – not substantive reasons to click;
    1. no text revealing what is linked-to nor why I should click it;
  4. narrowcasting – not broadcasting; eg, they are merely talking‑out‑loud without offering any context;
  5. using Twitter to sell goods & services that are only of value to the seller – not of value to buyer.

Subjectivity

Subjective reasons include posts that are:

  1. presenting unarousing pornography – just unsexy White girls;
  2. not presenting subject‑matter in which I have any interest; eg, such activities as soccer, ballroom dancing & cake‑baking.

Following the above suggestions will help you avoid plowing-through most of the pointless and time‑wasting posts with which Twitter – and most of the Internet – is littered. This is why Blocking must be done aggressively and without wasting your time telling people why you Block them.

Anonymity

Anonymity is the single most important issue on the World Wide Web, since the Web is, by default, an example of broadcasting – not narrowcasting.

If you wish to be open about whom you are and what you think about anything, it is better to Protect your Tweets from people you do not know personally – or use a social‑media platform like Facebook, where anonymity is not allowed. (If you do not do this, then you are probably a masochist who enjoys being publicly‑abused.)

Never post personal information – unless you really have to – and never use anonymity to engage in abusive behavior, unless initiated by others. Personal data can be used against you by Tweeters who believe ad hominem comments are superior to ad rem ones – again, wasting time to no purpose.

Profile

Create a Full name and a User name for yourself that clearly expresses what you are about in your Tweeting practice. This, of course, requires that you are fully aware of what this might be in yourself.

As a necessary corollary of the human need for self‑awareness, invent a Bio and keep it as short as possible to allow for as many interesting #Hashtags as possible within the 160-character limit for such things. Arrange these alphabetically for ease of use.

I know what I like and I like what I know?

Do not use @usernames in your Bio – unless you know these people, personally. They are:

  1. Too specific;
  2. waste space; &,
  3. are too limiting in their scope.

#Hashtags offer the greatest number of interesting people to be found, while @Username links simply offer what you already know. It is better to follow ideas than individuals, since this helps avoid cults-of-personality – and you learn more about the world.

Select a Full name, Username, Photo (logo) & Banner (background) which adequately reflect what you are about, so that people know before they click on your @Username hyperlink. They will respect you for not wasting their time in this way, even if they do not share your values. It also makes you easy to find and easy to remember.

Do not reveal your actual Location, for the same reasons you should always be as anonymous as possible on the Web. This feigned statelessness allows you to invent a place that furthers illustrates and emphasizes the kind of Tweeter you are; eg, FREEDONIA or LUBRICATORIA.

Your URL should not link to a website that reveals your true identity.

You should also obtain an extra Email address that does not contain your real name.

You should never offer your Phone number to strangers – ever.

INDEX
ConceptInstance
Frank Talker
Frank Talker
(19622027), English dramatist.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)1
140-character limit1
@Username1, 2, 3, 4, 5
#Hashtag1, 2
abbreviations1
abuse1
ad hominem1, 2
ad rem1, 2
advertising1, 2
adulation1
anonymity1
Austen, Jane1
Banner1
Bios1, 2
Blocking1, 2, 3
broadcasting1, 2
clarity1, 2
clickbait1, 2
communication1
context1, 2, 3
credibility1
criticism1
cynical1
data, personal1
demagoguery1
Direct Messages1
efficiency1
Email1
empiricism1
expertise1
Facebook1
Favoriting1
Following1, 2, 3, 4
Full name1, 2
grammar1
hagiography1
humor1, 2
ideology1
insubstantive1, 2
irony1
Liking1
Location1
manipulation1
Muting1
narrowcasting1, 2
nihilistic1
objectivity1, 2, 3
opacity1
Orwell, George1
paranoia1
parody1
perspective1, 2
Phone1
Photo1
photographs1
pornography1
posting1, 2, 3
Profile1
propaganda1, 2
protect1
realism1, 2, 3
reality1
reporting, objectively1, 2
Replying1
reputation1
Retweet1
rhetoric1
sarcasm1
satire1
schizophrenia1
self‑awareness1, 2
self-interest1
selling1
slang1
speculative1
spelling1
subjectivity1
Swift, Jonathan1
talking-out-loud1
time1, 2, 3
transparency1
USP, Twitter1
vested interest1
View Conversation1
View photo1
wisdom1
Web1, 2, 3
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Frank TALKER - Truth-Teller