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.
Level One – ‘Amateur Broadcaster’
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.
Level Two – ‘Intermediate Broadcaster’
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.
Level Three – ‘Intermediate Socialite’
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.
Level Four – ‘Advanced Multiplayer’
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.
Level Five – ‘Pro Influencer’
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.
But how do you level up?
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:
- Following people +1XP
- Gaining followers +4XP
- Re-tweeting someone +2XP
- @Replying to someone +3XP
- Mentioning someone +3XP
- Getting a RT +4XP
- Getting an @Reply +4XP
- Getting Mentioned in someone else’s Tweet +5XP
- Frequently tweeting +2XP
- Use of relevant hashtags +2XP
- Diversifying your content +3XP
- Use of multimedia rich content +4XP
- Boosts Promoted tweets/profiles. These cost extra but if paired with the right communications can make a huge impact on any campaign.
- Multiplayer Joining an industry relevant Twitter conversation can expose you and your messaging to the right audiences and influencers.
- Cheats Paying for ‘fake’ followers might increase your community by quantity, but not by quality. Play fair and don’t waste your money!
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.