Yesterday I wrote 5 tips to help increase your follower numbers on Twitter. Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions on the topic.
As I read over the comments I realized that there were a few more things that I’d been learning on how to use Twitter that might be worth sharing. So over the coming few days I’ll pick up a few threads of thought that your comments sparked for me on the topic of growing your Twitter Presence. Today I want to talk about a tactic that I’ve used a little lately that might help those of you who don’t live in parts of the world where the majority of your followers live.
Pre-Prepare Your Tweets
This one is going to probably rub some Twitter users up the wrong way because it is a medium which is very spontaneous and immediate – but I pre-prepare and plan a portion of my tweets.
This is something that I do with a minority of the things I do on Twitter but for two main reasons I find that it is helpful to have some Tweets that ‘I prepared earlier’.
1. My Time Zone – As mentioned in my earlier post, living in a time zone which is almost completely opposite to that of my followers can be frustrating. When I was in the US earlier in the year I realized just what I was missing out on when I suddenly was about to use Twitter in the same time zone.
For me the times that I am awake when my followers are awake are either when I first wake up (7am-9am) and just as I’m heading for bed (10pm onwards). The problem is that in these times I’m not really at my best. I tend to have more insightful things to say, better questions to ask and more value to add to conversations at mid morning here in Australia.
As a result if I think of something to Tweet during the day that is timeless (ie it’s not related to the here and now) then I sometimes save it to Tweet late at night or first thing in the morning.
2. Timing is Everything – Twitter is a medium where timing is very important. As already mentioned, if you Tweet something when your followers are asleep and it’ll go largely unread. However even in peak times if you tweet something profound just after you’ve tweeted 10 other things and it could go unnoticed – lost in the crowd of your own tweets. As a result I find that sometimes the best time to Tweet is after a pause in the conversation.
For example sometimes I might think of something new to Tweet in the middle of another Twitter Conversation but wait until everyone has had their say on the last topic before starting a new one. I find that if I do I have a lot better response rate than if I’m talking to three people about three things at once.
Tools for Pre-Tweeting - My Twitter followers will know that a month or two back I went on the hunt for tools that would allow me to ‘Pre-Tweet’ or schedule my Tweets to go off at particular times – just like most blog platforms allow you to set a post to go off at scheduled times. There are a couple of services that allow this – they are TweetLater and TweetAhead. I should point out that I’ve had mixed results with them – particularly TweetAhead which lost tweets and mistimed others. As they say on their site – they need more servers. TweetLater looks promising though, I’ve used it 5 times so far and it’s been perfect so far.
While these tools are useful – I tend to take a simpler approach. I have a text file open on my desktop where I keep my prepared tweets. It currently has a few questions to ask, a quote or two to share and a few links that I want to share also.
As mentioned above – I only pre-prepare a minority of my Tweets. I do like the medium for it’s spontenaity and fast flowing interaction and if all of your tweets were dryly pre-tweeted I think it’d reflect on your follower’s experience.