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Translating Twitter speak and garnering retweets

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Not long ago one of my Twitter followers who is new to social media sent me an email asking for some help “decoding” the following tweet:

RT @JoeCascio: @aubreyliciouss PodCampCT meeting and tweetup tonight in Middletown . https://goo.gl/o4TA #pcct cc: @mmpartee

After looking at the tweet as if I was new to Twitter, I realized, “This stuff is garbledegook!”. I decided to try to translate it for him and this is what I said:

RT = retweet, which is usually a copy of what follows the two letters. It is like forwarding an email or re-broadcasting the content.

@JoeCascio is the original tweeter who was talking to @aubreyliciouss about the upcoming PodCamp and included a link for more information.

#pcct is the hashtag for PodCamp CT (perhaps I should do a post defining hashtags sometime, what do you think?)

I was the person sending the retweet and included the cc: at the end to alert @mmpartee of the event that I knew he would be interested in.

All of this got me to thinking about the power and gift of the retweet and I wanted to share with you why it is such an important tool on Twitter.

Consider this…

…if you have 500 followers and you tweet something, you have the potential to reach 500 sets of eyes. If I am one of those sets of eyes and I like what you have to say, I can retweet it and potentially expose your tweet to 4,500 more people. If one of THOSE people who has 2,000 followers decides to retweet it we are then up to potentially 7,000 people seeing your information.

Pretty cool, huh?

For a visual metric on the power of your tweet and retweet you can use TweetReach. This service will analyze your Twitter name or a hashtag and provide a comprehensive set of metrics about its impact on Twitter. This tool will provide a lot of information on how many people saw your tweets, how many read them, how many RT’ed your tweet and even who shared the most. For a detailed description on how these metrics work you can read this page.

Of course, not every follower reads every post, but the more times a tweet is retweeted the more chance for it to roam the Twitterverse on a wide scale.

An interesting post by Dan Zarrella introduces a metric he called the “ReTweetability Metric”. He proposes that a person can use a simple equation to determine how retweetable their posts are and that the content of a tweet seems to be more important than the influence of the person sending the tweet.

I know that retweets have karma.

A retweet is a powerful gift that you should give often. I try to spend a good portion of my twitter time on RT’ing other people’s links and amusing comments. These people will be more likely, in turn, to give me the same gift at some later date. It is good to share and be supportive and RT’ing is a super easy and powerful way to do so.

I love the serendipity of finding new people to follow via the retweet. For example: if @laniar tweets with someone that I don’t know, I am very likely to follow the latter person simply because I enjoy tweeting with Lani and she is engaging this new-to-me person. I meet fabulous new people each day that I find this way.

Retweets are endorsed information.

It is one thing for you to post a link to your blog post, but quite another for someone else to retweet it. Their RT is a form of endorsement and gives your link credibility in others’ eyes. Readers will think, “If so-and-so thought this was a good tweet, then I do, too!”. You may even get lucky enough that the person adds something to their RT along the lines of “must read” or “great post”.

A few tips to keep in mind:

#1- ask. In certain circumstances (not every time) it is find to add “pls RT” to a tweet. Using the word please will increase the chance of getting retweeted.

#2- leave room. 140 characters isn’t much, but leave space for the people RT’ing you to add their comments or they may opt not to retweet. Here is a post that explains how to figure out your retweet number.

#3- use a url shortening site like www.bit.ly . Many blog post url’s are super long and will eat up tweet space. Bit.ly has the added bonus of tracking your url data (how many clicks, who tweeted or retweeted the link).

#4- have a compelling headline.

#5- say thank you. If people RT you it is great to publicly thank them.

#6- have good content.

Alright, you are ready to hit the RT trail! How about you practice by tweeting this link with a “please RT” call to action?

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Tassia Bezdeka

    September 2, 2010 at 1:09 am

    It’s important to keep in mind also that there are multiple ways of using Twitterspeak.

    I, for example, prefer adding “(via @user)” to the end of my retweet vs “RT: @user” at the beginning

    Also, everyone adds their commentary differently…
    RT: @user tweettweettweettweettweet (this is my comment)
    RT: @user tweettweettweettweettweet
    RT: @user tweettweettweettweettweet //this is my comment
    This is my comment RT: @user tweettweettweettweettweet

    And so on and so forth. Your best bet is to see the conversation if possible (using a conversation tracker, like bettween.com can help here) to track the changes and discussion.

  2. Jeff Belonger

    September 2, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Lesley,… I am usually behind in months to years when it comes to online/internet technology and a few other things…. overall, this was an excellent post and helped explain several things that I wasn’t sure about or needed clarification on. thanks for this post…

  3. James Chai

    September 2, 2010 at 5:22 am

    This is a good primer for anyone who doesn’t know the lingo or “Geek Speak”. Now if someone could just explain the meaning of life …

  4. Sara Bonert

    September 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

    My husband is in the tech media world, and sometimes after we’ve been talking about the latest thing for awhile, I stop and say “what a bunch of nerds we are!”. I was just saying last night that this really has evolved into a second language, albeit once you start, it can be easy to pick up.

    I recently did a social media 101 training for agents and spent a few minutes on why people use twitter. Midway through describing why people use hashtags, someone raised their hand and asked “do you just have to write the word hashtag out?”. Fair enough question, I’d always called that symbol a pound sign, never a hash before twitter. But it was a great reminder on how thorough we should be when training on this stuff. It is all new, and to those who have never done it, it can be a lot of swallow at once.

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Social Media

Social media is being used for hiring, and no, we’re not talking just LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media has evolved from being only community-oriented to career-oriented. See how users are getting jobs by being creative.

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social media, like tiktok, is being used for hiring. here are some examples of tiktok resumes.

Gen Z and Millennials are no doubt the heaviest users of social media, and perhaps the internet in general. But it’s no longer just about catching up with friends and family, posting memes, and hailing yourself as hashtag king – they are using it to get jobs in creative ways.

Kahlil Greene was a student at Yale University hell-bent on educating others about African American social movements and culture. Known as “The Gen Z Historian” on Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, he got to posting about the lesser-known facts and stories of history, amounting to 1.3 million views very quickly, catching the attention of employers. Now with over 500,000 followers across all major platforms, Greene is heading to work in consulting focusing on public education.

“I think that’s the thing that people don’t realize that social media is everywhere, and it’s congruent with every lifestyle you want,” says Greene.

Another TikToker, Emily Zugay, has over 2 million followers on the platform from hilariously redesigning brand logos. Her personality of shooting down brand choices with such a dry delivery is sure to make you giggle. She’s appeared on Ellen, and many brands changed their logos to her suggestions, including McDonald’s, the NFL, Tinder, Doritos, and Nascar. Just announced, Panera Bread is realizing limited holiday cups by Emily Zugay, taking a stab at Starbucks who typically creates the mad rush for holiday cups. Though she hasn’t publicly spoken about taking on a new role due to her wacky design endeavors, she has been approached for many partnership collaborations and markets herself as a content creator on the platform in order to rack in the dough.

Having the perfect one-page resume and perhaps, an inkling of personalization in the cover letter (which no one enjoys writing and barely anyone reads), is no longer the secret to landing jobs. 92% of companies use social media to hire.

“Creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be scary, hard, or time-consuming. You just have to be yourself. Consistent posts, a few follows and some direct messaging can go a long way to open doors.”

TikTok launched a pilot program of applying to the short-form video powerhouse by well, making a TikTok on the platform. Within 48 hours, 800 videos were submitted with #TikTokResumes in their captions. Expanding from internal hiring to external hiring, the program allowed job seekers to apply with their videos to Chipotle, Target, Shopify, and more.

Want to get in on the action but don’t know where to start? Unfortunately, the TikTok submissions have now closed, but you can always follow these tips to start getting creative for your next career move: Embrace the tools on the platform, do your research about the company you’re applying to, make connections on the platform and within the company, show off achievements as you would in a typical resume, and be yourself!

For more cool resume ideas, check out this article on the most creative techie resumes.

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Reactions to Twitter Blue from real subscribers, p.s. its not worth it

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter’s paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, gives more control over tweets and custom UI, but subscriber reception has been lukewarm.

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Twitter Blue Sign Up Page

Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that gives users increased control over their tweets and the appearance of their interfaces, launched this summer. Subscriber reception has been lukewarm, foreshadowing some resistance to shifts away from advertising-based revenue models for social media platforms.

The allure of Twitter Blue isn’t immediately apparent; beyond a relatively low price tag and increased exclusivity on a platform that emphasizes individuality, the service doesn’t offer much to alter the Twitter experience. Twitter Blue’s main selling point – the ability to preview and alter tweets before sending them – may not be enough to convince users to shell out the requisite three dollars per month.

Other features include the option to change the theme color and icon appearances. Twitter Blue subscribers can also read some ad-supported news articles without having to view ads courtesy of Twitter’s acquisition of Scroll, a company that provides ad-free news browsing.

But even with this variety of small customization options and the promise of more to come, users are skeptical. Android Central’s Shruti Shekar is one such user, beginning her review with, “Right off the bat, this feature isn’t worth the money you’d be spending on it every month.”

Shekar posits that the majority of the features are wasted on long-term users. “I think a lot of my opinions come from a place of using Twitter for so long in a certain way that I’ve gotten used to it, and now I find it challenging to adapt to something that would theoretically make my life easier,” she explains.

One of those adaptations centers on Twitter Blue’s “Undo Tweet” feature – something that belies the notion of proofreading and using common sense before sending thoughts into the nether.

“For me, 95% of the time, I really do pay attention to my tweets before I send them out,” says Shekar.

Twitter Blue checking Tweets before sending.

Shekar does praise Twitter Blue’s “Reader Mode” feature that allows users to view threads as uninterrupted columns but argues that the feature would probably end up being underutilized despite being a cool concept.

The aforementioned color and theme customization was of little interest to Shekar. “I actually found it a bit challenging to get used to the other colors, not because they’re ugly, but again because I am just so used to the classic blue,” she says.

One problem here is that the options to change link and theme colors and put threads in reader mode seem more like accessibility features than premium content. Twitter might do well to make these available to all users, if for no other reason than to avoid criticism about locking quality of life updates behind a subscription paywall.

Shekar’s criticism hits on a crucial point for any social media company looking to emulate Twitter Blue’s subscription model: Even if the subscription price is low, companies have to be prepared to make actual meaningful changes to the user experience if they want satisfied subscribers. That includes building in options that don’t fundamentally alter the basic aspects (or appearance) of the platform.

For more on Twitter Blue, check out their blog post on it here.

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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