MY VIEW: Twitter ye not

This month, ToyTalk owner and editor David Smith realises that while he isn?t entirely comfortable with Twitter yet, at least he?s better at it than some...
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Games make a party uniquely awesome!
Like many people, it took me a while to ‘get’ Twitter. I’m not the sort of person who automatically dismisses any new technology, but social media tends to develop so quickly you can easily find yourself on the outside, with your nose pressed up against the window, wondering how to get in.

Twitter is obviously a very powerful tool for connecting with… with… well, exactly who are you connecting with?

Games make a housewarming gift wonderful!
Sorry, what? Anyway, I was asking, who are you connecting with on Twitter? Should your tweets be aimed at members of the public or others in the toy industry? Is it okay to tweet off-topic comments, such as what book you’re reading, or should you stay strictly on message? Is this a business tool, a bit of fun, or both?

The software I use on my website allows me to automatically tweet whenever a new story goes live, and for some time this was about the limit of my interaction with Twitter.

The problem is a tweet will quickly drop down everyone’s Twitter homepage, especially if they follow hundreds or thousands of people, so they may never actually read it.
Games make a evening fantastic!
It’s ‘an evening’, and I see you like games, but do you have to keep…

Games make a event fun!
… tweeting the same thing? And, again, it’s ‘an event’, not ‘a event’.

As my use of Twitter gradually evolved (and it’s still a work in progress), I realised it is by truly interacting that it starts to come to life. Retweeting what someone else has said, responding to comments, posing questions – these are the ways to really open up Twitter.

It can be fun, but inevitably you are sometimes left wondering why a brilliant tweet wasn’t picked up by anyone else, or why so many people chose to retweet a frankly banal one. Twitter has currents that can be mystifying; it all comes down to who sees your tweet and how receptive they are when they see it.

Games make a party memorable!
Apparently, there are others who are still working out how to use Twitter. The tweets that keep interrupting me are from an American games firm, and they show exactly how not to engage with the public via Twitter. Repeating a tweet may make it more likely your followers actually read it, but repeating a tweet eight times becomes annoying. Your tweets are your ambassadors on Twitter – make sure they’re projecting the right image.

Lynda Freebrey, of Orchard Toys, displays a far better grasp when she says “companies wishing to get involved with social media must remember it’s not a medium through which you can sell, in the conventional sense.

“It’s all about engaging with people, responding to their questions, giving them virtual hugs, sending them funny/informative tweets and asking them questions. I would say that only 15 per cent of my tweets purely promote our products.”

Games make a housewarming gift wonderful!
Actually, that’s a bizarre statement in itself (who wants a board game as a housewarming gift?) and you already told me that earlier today, and multiple times every day for the three months or so that I’ve been following you. In fact, I think I may stop…

Games make a evening fantastic!
… following you.


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