Twitter celebrated its 5th birthday last week to a tune of 140 million tweets per day! The community is global, crowded, and the conversations are noisy. More than 190 million accounts (unofficial number) have been registered and every single one of them has something to say. So, how do you build a community, whether personal or professional, in a seemingly over-crowded social ecosystem?
Organize the Conversation
There are many tools available, but after testing driving the new models, I always return to the desktop version of Tweetdeck. My conversations are organized in the following panels:
- Tweets from all 12K+ accounts that I follow. I keep this open not so much because I’m actually trying to monitor the conversation, but to be amazed from time to time about the speed of the conversation. It’s updated every second, flying upstream like a crowded old school Yahoo chat room (you remember the good ol’ days). Every once in awhile I’ll catch a valuable tweet and retweet it, but really it’s just there to let me know that the fail whale isn’t swimming in the waters of Twitter.
- Groups: The next panel is my “Hawaii Stream” group. If you’re an individual, business or organization from Hawaii, you’re likely in this group. I monitor this panel often, finding valuable tweets to retweet and even more valuable conversations to participate in. Tweetdeck will also allow you to export groups to lists.
- Personal Brand Monitoring: My next panel is a search for all mentions of my name (all variations, including my last name). This conversation can be very busy, and I do my best to reply to every tweet, but I know I’ve missed some along the path. Likewise, the next panel are my direct messages to which I reply too as swiftly as possible.
- Keyword Search: As a Community Developer, I am required to monitor conversations about my clients. These conversations fill up the next few panels on my Tweetdeck dashboard. Tweetdeck allows me to take actions on tweets like emailing to clients for their immediate follow-up or if needed, translations. These simple features allows for better organization.
- Lists: Twitter launched the ability to build ‘lists’ in 2009, but only until this year have I been heavily relying on this feature. (Update: I talk more about my use of lists in “How to Evangelize Your Community“)
While Tweetdeck has a mobile application for both the iPhone and iPad (coming soon), I prefer to use the Twitter application for my mobile devices because I like the user interface. I continue to monitor the same conversations as my desktop. Tweetdeck allows for syncing between all devices, another benefit for its users.
I built my community one tweet at a time over the past 4-years, in order for me to continue to provide value, I must provide content consistently and frequently. My mentor is Guy Kawasaki, so I am a student of the controversial “The Art of the Repeat Tweet.” Posts from blogs that I contribute too, including this one, are repeated 4 times every 6-hours. Additionally, I manually schedule blog posts and articles written by others that I find will be valuable to my community with the same frequency.
Repeat tweeting is not for everyone, it’s something earned by your community. I am fortunate to have built a sustainable community that provides more than 20K click throughs to the Alltop blog, Holy Kaw! alone.
- Scheduled posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn via RSS feeds.
- Create campaigns.
- Provide analytics and export customized reports.
I’ve only mentioned three tools to stay organized, but there are hundreds more. This works for me, something else may work for you, but the main take away is that you have to be organized in order to be effective and efficient in building your community on Twitter.