News and Journalism Blog

How to do microblogging justice 101- based on my experience

Microblogging… we have probably done it all at one point in our lives but haven’t noticed. First of all, what is “microblogging” exactly and how can you master it?

According to Lifewire, “microblogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create short messages to be posted and shared with an audience online”.

So if you have ever posted on Twitter or Facebook, you’re probably microblogging. The question is, have you done it right?

 

With the instant gratification social media provides, our narcissistic self heightens. Have you ever posted on social media about what you think about a topic, say something political? The thing is, do you think people actually care about what you think? Probably not. You don’t want people to think you’re a pest on their Newsfeed.

How can you do microblogging right? Here are some tips I’ve gained from my recent experience with microblogging on Twitter.

1. Pick a topic you’re passionate about

Pick a topic and stick to it! Especially if your account is professional. If you are an entertainment journalist, you can’t expect people to be interested in your account while you’re all over the place, talking about politics, Taylor Swift, then economics. You’ll seem unprofessional and confused.

During my experience with Twitter, I picked out a topic, which was tabloid/celebrity journalism. Other than the occasional journalism law posts, that was all I focused on. This has helped me build a level of relevance to my followers.

2. Follow the right people

A lot of the times, you will retweet posts you’ve seen on your newsfeed. It’s the same concept as picking out a topic. You do not want to follow a person who can’t decide what he/she wants to focus on. You just end up with loads of irrelevant tweets you don’t appreciate.

The right people you follow will give you a high quality Twitter account, which in turn, gives you influential and useful followers.

I followed a total of 77 people on Twitter, each picked carefully. To start off my search for people, I began with the search engine of Twitter. First off, I typed in phrases that relates to my topic, like “celebrity journalism” and “journalism law”. This gave me loads of options to pick from. Next, I find people who caught my attention and looked carefully into their profile. It is important I find their tweets relevant and useful, and most importantly, influential.

I’ve also utilised Twitter List and hashtags to find people who are relevant and tweet specifically to my chosen topic.

3. Be active

I can’t stress this enough. You’ll lose your level of relevance if you only tweet once every 6 months. You won’t gain any new followers, hence your microblogs do not have an audience. But it is also important to not be too active. I’m talking about tweeting every. second. about. everything. that. comes. into. mind.

My advice would be pace youself. I always strive to tweet and retweet approximately 5 tweets a day. Of course, I won’t tweet them all within the span of five minutes. What I did was spread it over the entire day. This means, a tweet every couple hours. However, if you’re doing a live-tweet then that’s a different story. By spreading my tweets over the course of a day, I’m staying active and also not spamming my followers’ newsfeed (trust me, nothing is more annoying than seeing the same person consecutively on your newsfeed).

4. Don’t be afraid to mention/tag other people

Obviously, they have to be relevant to what you’re talking about. So if you are posting about an article that someone else wrote. Find their Twitter handle and tag them on your post. You could possibly gain a follower, retweet, or even a comment or like. It’s a win-win situation.

In my posts, I try to mention the people I’m talking about. One example is during my live-tweet session, I tagged Bournemouth University and also used their hashtags for the event. I gained their attention, and they retweeted my tweets and also followed me. This exposed my account to a wider audience that could be interested in my content.

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