Just a few moments ago the Breaking More Waves twitter account reached a historic moment - having tweeted 10,000 times. The tweet was a link to this blog post. Like many others when Twitter got up and running we decided to create an account. We had no vision or real understanding of its use, application or benefit. We’re probably not that much wiser now. However to mark tweet 10,000 here are ten things we have learnt from and about twitter.
1. Tweeting is like standing in a dark room with your eyes shut and shouting, hoping that somebody, anybody is listening. Quite often very few people are because they’re all busy shouting in the room as well and the babble is loud and confusing.
2. The often published wisdom is ‘don’t tweet anything that you wouldn’t want to read yourself.’ Yet Mashable suggests that at least 40% of tweets are pointless babble. Our personal pet hates on twitter are people who babble about what they have had to eat and what the weather is like. Yet when we ironically and with a (hopefully) slightly humorous tone tweeted a picture of our evening meal once, it became our most viewed ever, being re-tweeted all over the world. The message here – the internet may advise you not to tweet anything you wouldn’t want to read yourself – but the internet can be wrong sometimes. Even that picture of the evening meal wasn’t our own, which gives us another message – not everything you see on the internet is true.
3. The click through rate from a tweet via a link to the blog is usually pretty low. Breaking More Waves has just over 1000 followers. Each time a link to a blog post is tweeted from our twitter account we only get about 30-50 followers clicking the link. That’s a 5% click through rate. Unless of course it’s a picture of somebody’s half-finished meal in which case we’ll expect several hundred. Maybe more if we mention the word sex in the tweet.
4. The best tweets, the ones that get the most reaction are often (but not exclusively always) the ones where the author takes a step back, reflects and considers their perspective rather than just blurting something out amongst the sheep. Are you a leader or a follower? Leaders influence with original thought, not following the crowd.
5. Irrespective of the above point, the crowd can be extremely powerful in spreading news through twitter. The death of Amy Winehouse this year showed just how quickly news can spread. Yet the danger of Chinese whispers and incorrect information shows how important it is to check facts before tweeting if you want your twitter account to have credibility and trust.
6. Clogging up your followers twitter feed with information that is not useful to them will invariably annoy people in the same way spam emails do. Do you really need to tweet every aspect of your life? If you do, first consider why that is. It says something about you as a person. If you really must lay everything open why not consider writing a blog instead – you could still do it in 140 character posts. Having said that, it does seem that the occasional picture of a half-finished meal is what people want, so maybe we’re just hugely out of touch and should be tweeting every time we go to the toilet or bake a cake. For your information the last time we baked a cake was about six months ago (a date and walnut loaf), but we went to the toilet more recently.
7. Relevant conversations can be voyeuristically interesting to those who follow both tweeters. However save the irrelevant ‘what time are you going out’ stuff to texts or direct messages if you can.
8. @stephenfry is not nearly as interesting as people would have you believe. We unfollowed him after about a week, we’re pretty sure he wasn’t bothered.
9. Not everyone gets humour on twitter, particularly irony, because many of the people following you on twitter are just that – followers – not friends. We’ve been caught out a few times on this when we’ve tweeted something we thought was absurdly funny but others haven’t even realised it was a joke. Or maybe, actually, we're just not funny at all. Having said that, twitter can be a great way to pass by an idle few moments reading some peoples funnies.
10. There are no rules on twitter and ultimately this blog post and our twitter feed is pointless, but fun. Hope you enjoyed the picture of our tea that we ate tonight – the quiche was made by our twelve year old in her cookery lesson at school. It was delicious and far better than any shop bought one.
You can follow us on twitter here. We reserve the right to break all the rules (if there are any), post about the weather, what we had for tea and maybe just now and then we'll do what we should be doing and tweet about music, gigs and festivals.
Oh yes, this is meant to be a music blog isn’t it? You want some music? Ok, here we go. Brighton four piece Black Black Hills have really grabbed our attention recently with this song – military drums, underwashes of electronics and a bluesy vibe all create The Celebration. Worth tweeting about.Black Black Hills - The Celebration