Your Twitter Sucks, Doesn’t it?

Here are Three Ways to Spice it Up!

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You have a twitter account but then every time you scroll down or up through your timeline, you are always frowning. You know that scowl that never leaves your face and never makes you read a tweet from start to finish because nothing makes sense?

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Twitter in my opinion is the best social media platform there is especially if you are content-oriented. However, your experience with the app is bound to be doomed if you are unaware of how to fine tune it to your needs because just like Facebook and Instagram, you will find all types of people and content and it is up to you to choose your poison.

But how do you know what poison to pick? Fine tuning is a continuous process that you will still be doing even after seven years on the platform. This is because your needs will keep changing and sometimes, you will need to stop seeing some of the content, or add new ones onto the list. It is a constant metamorphosis and each time, you will have to allow yourself to outgrow stuff, like new things, hate on others and also have an opinion.

Being on Twitter does not have to be either boring or traumatic, neither does it have to leave your face wrinkled (though sometimes it will cause duh, its twitter!). It can be fun, informative, entertaining, inspirational, and instrumental to your career and social network, and a platform for self-expression!

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Here is how you can do it:

1. Be very INTENTIONAL of the people you follow:

This one is very obvious, isn’t it? Initially, due to the excitement of being on Twitter, I followed everyone and everything that would capture my interest. Within a week I had followed about 530 accounts including news channels, football clubs (lol!), celebrities and companies of all sorts. This led to a very chaotic and inconsistent timeline cluttered with all type of information that I did not need. My life changed when I picked my ex-boyfriend’s phone and scrolled through his timeline. In there I saw all the content I wanted to see in my own timeline but was never there (We are both techies thus in a way we shared similar digital interests). I asked him why he was getting meaningful content while I was having a horrible time and he said it is because I follow everyone. That night, I unfollowed every account that was irrelevant to me until I reached about 300 accounts, and I still unfollowed some more in the following days. If your account is like this, then it is time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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Next thing you need to define what kind of information you want to see. Is it sports, news, academics, celebrity life, travel blogs, or music artists? I am a woman in tech and also an undergraduate finalist thus most of the content I have ‘subscribed’ to revolves around technology, scholarships and job opportunities and tips. Knowing what you want to consume makes it all easier to choose or to eliminate what does or doesn’t suit you. However, a problem may come in knowing who or what to follow in your chosen areas of interests. No worries, a simple search can solve this for you.

If you want to keep up with English Premier League, just search one of the clubs that plays in the league and leave Twitter to do the rest for you because once you get the target, Twitter will recommend similar clubs for you and based on what other clubs you pick, it will recommend more for you. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence because the recommending algorithm does not disappoint often.

But what if you want specific people and you don’t know their handles? Or you probably know nobody in that particular field? Don’t fret because Google has got your back. Say you want to follow feminists but you have no idea who. Just go to your browser and type something like “feminists twitter”. Trust me, you will get a few names to start you with.

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Final strategy and I guarantee you that it works, who is that person that you admire so much because of the amazing content that they share or who is it that is your role model on Twitter? Go to their profiles and click on the people they themselves follow. If you follow these people, then they must also be following a few people you did not know about but happen to share the same interests as you. Seeing what I am saying?

Pro tip: Before following anyone though, it is always good to look at their profiles and scrolling down just a little bit through their timelines, just to get a feel of the things they share, retweet and such. This is important because, well, people are not always what you think them to be. So verify if what they have is what you want to see!

2. Watch out how you engage with the content on your timeline!

It is okay if I have lost you on this one, but you will be with me in a few. I will repeat, watch out how you engage with the content that appears on your screen! You see, due to the advancement of technology, we now have something called Machine Learning. It simply an application of AI that is implemented to help Twitter understand you as a user in a bid to improve your interaction with the platform. By this I mean, it is going to study what posts you like, those you retweet but don’t like, those that you retweet and like, the threads that you open and those that you don’t, how much time you spend on a post, what posts you zoom past and those that you stop to read, those tweets that you mute, what posts you comment on and which ones you pause to read the comments, and the list continues.

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It is important that you heed this because you do realize that the people you follow also follow other people who also happen to follow other people, who sometimes will or will not align with the kind of content you want to be seeing. Also, these people will in addition have other topics that do not concern you and since you happen to follow them, their information will be shared with you.

How does this work? For instance, if one of the persons you follow shares racist tweets, whether posts themselves or retweets, and you like such a post, you are very likely to see more racist posts on your TL when you refresh. Another example is if you always open the a medical thread from a doctor and spend time going through the tweets in the thread, do not surprised if you see another doctor whom you do not follow but shares similar content on your screen. The algorithms are there to learn you inside out and it is their job to figure out your likes and dislikes based on how you interact with your feed.

So my advice is that if you do not wish to be crowded with non-beneficial items, try not to spend time on such including not liking, retweeting or commenting, because the universe says, “What you like, you attract!”

3. Know your audience and know when to post

Who is your audience? Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

Sometimes you will tweet just to put your thoughts out there, but other times you will do so because you want to talk to people. The former won’t bother you much if it doesn’t get much engagement with other users. Sometimes I just write things on the app to clear my mind as way of therapy, sort of. But the latter is bound to bother you if whatever you shared has had only 2 likes and 45 engagements after 17 hours yet your objective was to reach to a wide audience.

Of course first we have to acknowledge that the number of followers you have influences the total engagement. A small following often results to a small reach while a huge following may lead to a wider tally. However, this is not always the case. I have seen tweets from people with a small following blow up.

So you are looking for an internship or a job? Yes?

Somebody said that to survive on twitter requires intelligence. I cannot exactly prove that but to some extent, that person was right. To post such a tweet requires tactfulness and you will only frustrate yourself if you do not take time to understand who your target audience is, what they do and who they are as people. When you understand their metrics, then it is easier to favor your tweet to the time when they are most likely to see it and eventually aligning yourself to your desired outcome.

It’s like a game of chess, watch how you play it. Photo by sk on Unsplash

Going back to the ‘looking for an internship/job’ tweet, your audience here are the company CEOs and employees. If it is a weekday, then many of them are likely to be at work from 9.00a.m to 5.00.p.m. If that is the case, what are the possible times when they will log onto twitter to see your tweet? If you did a little research, you will realize that majority of them will be scrolling through their phones between 6.00a.m and 7.00a.m when most are waking up, between 7.00a.m and 8.00a.m when they are travelling to work, at 11.00a.m and 1.00p.m during their breaks, and finally between 5.00p.m and 6.00p.m when they are leaving work. What this means is that if you share your post in any of these timelines you are not only assured to reach your intended audience, but also achieve a higher engagement because they will retweet it to their fellow CEOs who are also having a similar timeline. Tada!

4. Be a Decent Human Being

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This one was not in my original sketch but since we are talking of how to liven up your twitter experience, it is just necessary to mention it. At the end of the day, we are all human beings made of flesh and emotions. So don’t be the idiot that goes spewing obscenities at people who do not agree with your ideologies and embarrassing other people just for clout.

Nothing turns me off than seeing uncalled for rudeness, or posts that humiliate other people who are just minding their own business. If I see a posts that disgusts me, I quickly unfollow the person if I had followed them, and if I don’t follow them, I either mute the post or block the person.

Kindly do not harass others on the platform. If your opinions differ, state them but do so respectfully, and if you have nothing good to say just scroll past. There are already enough unpleasant content by awful people, so don’t add to the numbers. Otherwise, you will find yourself blocked, muted and unfollowed by your friends, by people who look up to you and those whom you look up to and just by everyone else worth their salt! So be nice, mostly!

Don’t forget to clap for this article, and also you are welcome to share with your friends!!

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Grace Kahinga

Copywriting | I have a teeny-tiny newsletter where I share life lessons in bite-sized letters every Thursday & Sunday. Find it here: thelastlotusflower.substack