I’ve had a few people ask me for twitter tips lately, and while I’m obviously not the most successful tweeter there is (I don’t have a billion followers… YET), I DO have a few useless things to say about using the dang site. Why don’t I follow everyone back? How come I don’t constantly retweet my friends? When someone starts an @reply conversation with me why do I sometimes disappear from existence? Hopefully I can answer all of those questions right here right now.
Before I get into it, I should note that I only use twitter for comedy. I tweet jokes and I follow jokes. So, if you’re wondering how to use twitter more effectively for your soap business or something, I can’t really help. Unless you want to make lots of soap jokes and get people talkin about that hilarious soap joker on the internet, then sure, maybe this will help. Probably not though. Twitter can be a really good tool for getting yer hilarious snowflake voice out there, but you gotta have a plan. Here’s mine:
1. Twitter is as serious as you take it. People who choose to engage form a community that can turn into super friendships and possibly benefit your joke career. If you want twitter to take you seriously you have to respect that community. Don’t be a dick. Don’t be annoying.
2. Use an image of your real face/self, even if you’re wearing a mask. Using an non-human, non-you avi is an easy way to make others leery of you. Imagine walking in to a party with a bag over your head - it’s kind of the same thing. Creepy. Actually, a picture of your face with a bag over your head would still be better than a picture of some cartoon guy’s face, or a flower, or a beetle. Still kinda creepy though. This goes double if you’re trying to build an online persona that people respond to.
3. Tweet like you don’t give a fuck who reads it aside from your friends. Just tweet what you think is funny. That said, try to keep a personal standard of what’s funny in your mind, and then aim for that. Like-minded sillies will find you.
4. Never solicit follows, and only tweet at your heroes and crushes if you have something legitimately interesting to say. And check other @replies before you do your @reply, because chances are another doe-eyed fan has beat you to that incredible zinger you just thought up. Even positive @’s are a bit trollish if you overdo them (ESPECIALLY IF THE PERSON YOU’RE @-ING IS NOT RESPONDING). Just never make yourself seem needy. Twitter will smell the stink and avoid you. Also, if someone isn’t following you no matter how often you @reply them, LET IT GO. Chances are they’ve peeked at your content and it didn’t suit them. NO ONE is obliged to follow you back, ever. If you’re only following someone so they follow you back, you’re doing it wrong.
5. NEVER tweet-whine about followers or favs vs RTs or twitter in general. It’s really tempting but it’s the worst. Just provide content and make friends, and then suck. it. up. Also never ask a friend for a RT. It’s lame and awkward. If it’s killing you that you can’t get your follower count up, BE PATIENT AND SHUT UP. If a year passes and your count hasn’t changed, you probably just suck at twitter, and that’s okay. Go do something else.
6. Report/block spambots right away. They may make your numbers seem higher, but they’re not contributing anything of substance to your experience. Also they unfollow at weird times and it’ll fuck with your head.
7. Too many tweets, and people will want you to shut up. Too few and people won’t see the value in following you. I think 3-8 a day is ideal. And if you’re not happy with something you’ve tweeted, just delete it. You are the boss of you.
8. Spelling is important, unless the typo is part of the joke, or you’re using made-up words, obvs. I mostly ignore grammar on twitter because I like the stream-of-consciousness sensibility, but sometimes a joke needs commas n stuff for it to play right. And if you tweet a typo, just delete and tweet it again. Everyone makes typos but no one will retweet a typo’d tweet. If they do, they should read more.
9. Clear redundant @replies and jokes that bombed from your feed soon after they’ve had their time. Some conversations are super fun and are fine for people to see, but if someone wants to see your jokes and they have to scroll through 40 @replies first, they’re probably not going to follow. And weak jokes just take up space. NEVER publicly tweet your address or personal information. That should go without saying. For myself, I don’t do tons of @replies, mostly because I’m not on my phone that consistently. Also sometimes I’m shy, and sometimes an anonymous @reply from someone trying too hard to be clever makes me want to throw my phone into the ocean. If I do reply, it’s for riffing jokes or quick props to someone I like. I don’t engage in non-joke conversations with friends who could just as easily text me, ever. I don’t see the point, it’s just not what I use twitter for.
10. Never respond to or engage with a troll. If you have to, send one reply and then block them right away. And then delete the reply. It saves a lot of meaningless stress. Trolls feed off of knowing they’ve gotten to you, so just nip it quick and avoid it completely.
11. If someone huge FF’s you or RTs you, FREAK OUT and edit any weak material from your feed asap. Git yr A-game up. Then try to chill out while the followers wander/pile in. If you think of an awesome joke, tweet it, but don’t go nuts. KEEP YOUR COOL. Just wait till the dust settles, and once it does, you’ll typically lose 25% of the followers you just gained because your other jokes aren’t exactly like that one joke the superstar person RT’d. Also, thank the superstar person, but dooonn’t bug them. Let them live in peace. If it’s possible for you to be friends, it will happen naturally. If they get creepy (and some do), politely never speak to them again.
12. If you decide to FF someone, give some sincere thought to why you want others to follow them. NEVER FF ten people in a lump tweet. That’s the equivalent of writing some names on a piece of paper and then throwing it into rush hour traffic. Useless. Whose jokes are turning you on right now? Why? Tell people about them. Find one or two of their best tweets and RT them as examples of why they rule. Doesn’t even have to be on a friday. If someone is really nailing it, let people know whenever you feel like it. Don’t do insincere, career-climby FFs in the hopes that, a) that person will follow you back or, b) that person will FF you back. Don’t brown-nose and don’t suck dicks. And don’t feel obliged to FF friends who barely even tweet, or who suck at twitter. If you like them, that’s great, but why should the rest of us if they’re not providing any content of value?
13. People unfollow for lots of reasons - maybe they realize you’re not their flav (which is fine, it’s like your friend’s brother who’s really into anime leaving your party) and sometimes they leave if you don’t follow them back. Never follow them back!! Unless it’s someone you know FOR A FACT is awesome, either via their tweets or who follows them. If you start following just anyone back you’ll regret it. Especially if you’re a girl.
14. People also follow for lots of reason. I follow hilarious people. I keep who I follow to about 400 people, because it’s a manageable number. More than that, and I can’t keep up with the people I like, and managing lists annoys me. I want my feed to be filled with bright, inspiring, hilarious people because that’s what makes me happy. If I don’t follow you back, it’s not because I don’t like you, it’s because I’m not super pumped about your content. Sorry.
15. NEVER STEAL JOKES. DUH. Never never repost someone’s thought as your own. Even manual RTs are pretty lame unless you’re broadcasting your reply to the original tweet. If someone’s premise inspires you, be happy you read it and leave it at that. If you accidentally tweet something you thought was your idea but was actually stored in your subconscious, and you realize what happened, take it down. Don’t openly riff off of other people’s premises, it’s lame. Even if the end joke is your own, it still seems weird. Any time I’ve felt like I’ve riffed too easily from someone, I usually just take it down. My worst nightmare is to be labeled as a premise pincher.
For me it’s ultimately about providing unique and hopefully hilarious content and being true to your own voice. It’s also totally okay to have real feelings and tweet about things you genuinely care about. Being a real person is probably the MOST important thing about internet socializing. There are a zillion people trying to be funny on twitter, but there’s only one you. OK THAT’S NOT TRUE there are a zillion people just like you, which is why you have to be the VERY BEST YOU YOU CAN BE. Okay? Okay.
Also, it’s just twitter. Relax! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa
The first innovative bicycle path in the Netherlands will be paved with light stones that will charge during the day and emit light during the evening. The path will run by the home that Vincent van Gogh lived in from 1883-5
okay all the sidewalks now
here’s me telling some jokes.