Warren Whitlock knows a thing or two about social media. His book “Twitter Revolution” was the first to spot the potential in microblogging and the first to explain to businesses how they should be using it. As a radio blogger as well as an author, he continues to deliver advice to entrepreneurs and businesses looking for a way to make the most of social media.
It is no surprise then that his Twitter timeline is filled with activity. Every few minutes, when he is online, he answers questions and provides replies to mentions.
But do not even think to follow him, because his replies are not what you will see.
It has been a long time since Twitter stopped placing replies in followers’ timelines. Now if you want to see the conversations someone you are following is having with other people, you have to look at their timeline. And if you want a message delivered to an individual to be seen across Twitter, you need to put a period in front of the @ symbol.
What you see when you follow Warren Whitlock, then, is the tweets placed between those replies — which are mostly quotes.
Every hour and sometimes twice an hour, if you follow Warren Whitlock, you will get an inspirational quote in your timeline.
If you happen to like the wisdom of Alan Woods, Corky Siegel and Matthew Trump (who?), it is a bonus. But if you would rather read a book or something original instead of the second-hand aphorisms of people you have never heard of, it is infuriating — and a reason to “un-follow.”
It is easy to see the thinking here. Whitlock cannot be on Twitter all the time. But he wants to stay visible on the site all the time, so he schedules small, beneficial nuggets of information that people might enjoy to go out at various times throughout the day. Using a client like HootSuite, it is easy for him — or for an assistant — to do.
But it does not work and there are better ways to keep your timeline ticking over.
No One is on Twitter All the Time
Instead of writing your opinion, noting a fact, or placing a link as soon as it hits you, you can schedule that original thought to go out later when you are not online. If the information is not timely, it does not matter when it goes out.
Instead of breaking the silence with a quote, you can schedule your blog posts to go online when you are not — and to tweet the link at a time when you would be quiet.
And, if you want to overload people with tweets, you can stop sweating it; just automate it.
However, on Twitter, as on Facebook, no one minds silence. We understand that the people we follow are not going to be on the site all the time, any more than we are on the site all the time. We understand that when we tweet a reply, we might not get a response right away and might have to wait a few hours.
And we understand that when someone is sending out fillers throughout the day, they are not using Twitter naturally, enjoyably, or because they want to keep in touch and share their thoughts.
That is what social media is really all about — and it is the first thing every social media user should know. As I have said before, Twitter for business is Twitter for B.S. I have un-subscribed from two or three recent blabbers. It may be good stuff, but there is no way anyone can manage to absorb a flood.