April 3, 2014
In explaining to a client the various stages of being on Twitter, it recently dawned on me that this social platform is not dissimilar to a game. Like everyone else you start with a default egg avatar and zero followers, but have to master certain skills to improve your profile. So, I’ve written a tutorial style guide on how to advance through the levels, and truly harness Twitter as a communication tool.
So, first things first. You sign up, pick a name, choose your avatar and prepare yourself for submersion into another digital world. It takes a couple of tries to get to grips with the 140 character restriction, but before you know it, you’ve sent your first tweet. Welcome to level one. Childs play.
At this level you’re a ‘Noob’ and only tweeting about yourself. You’re timeline is a monologue of ‘me, me, me’ right now. Don’t be egocentric, expand your content and show you’re aware of what’s going on around you.
At this level you are tweeting about yourself and your environment. You have a good balance of telling people your story, and how it fits into the wider narrative of your industry. You’re posts are still very one-way, so start being social.
Engaging with your community makes you more sociable on Twitter. It’s all about interacting with others and joining the conversation. At this level you are becoming a team player.
If you have an existing relationship offline, then use it online! For any business this means leveraging your employees, profiled executives, partners and customers. Providing these people have active Twitter accounts, you are able to establish strong ‘internal ambassadors’ where brand advocacy becomes the goal. Good team work.
So you have your internal advocates sharing your messaging with their own communities, and as crucial as this is to building a great Twitter profile – the biggest game changer is ‘external advocacy’. Once you have industry influencers engaging with you, you secure a powerful position.
To surpass levels you need to increase your XP (experience points) at each stage. It takes longer to reach each level, but the trick to increasing your XP in this game is to stay active, relevant and sustain relationships. Think of it this way:
If played with a good strategy, engaging content and persistence, Twitter can have a powerful impact for any business. Just remember that there’s no conclusion – it’s like the ongoing game play of ‘World of Warcraft’. There is however a risk of death comparable to Tamagotchi. If you’re neglectful – it’s game over.