I’ve been thinking a fair amount over the past couple days about the science involved in getting exposure on Twitter and other social media outlets. I’m sure people have probably posted similar things to what I’m about to say and I am in no way saying that these are original thoughts. They are just the conclusions that I have been coming to.
The end goal of every social media service is to gain a following, to reach the point where people read what you write. Looking at it that way it seems pretty straight forward. You post something and people read it. It’s not quite that simple. Well at least in the beginning it is not that simple. If you have millions of followers then it is that simple.
Every person on twitter has what I call their window of exposure. The size of the window of exposure is directly proportional to the amount of other tweets that person has to go through in order to see your tweet. Usually that number is directly proportional to the number of followers that person has as well…or…how many people that person follows. This leads to the case of why it can be so difficult to “catch the eye” of celebrities or people with lots of followers.
You have to also add on the fact that people are not always looking at Twitter. They may get phone alerts or be able to see when people are posting things, but they are not always looking at Twitter on their phone. So now your window of exposure is narrowed down even more to the time that they spend monitoring their twitter account.
I have found that the best way to track the optimal time of exposure is to see what times of day they post. It may seem like your stalking them, but realistically if you are out for exposure and interaction with this person then it really is the only way to do it. What times of the day do they tend to post and what lengths of time do they seem to be active? That gives you your windows to work with.
There are some celebrities that will use bots that will automatically post things for them at designated times. That will basically throw off the previous technique. I haven’t found a way to plan around that. The only idea that comes to mind is to possibly make more notice off when they tend to reply to posts from other people. Anyway, I digress, that might be a topic for a different blog once I get a better handle on things.
I have noticed, even by myself, that people assign a level of priority towards tweets that show up in their window of exposure. That adds another variable to the equation. I think it is imperative to find ways to work your way up that priority list. Even if it falls in their window of exposure, a tweet from somebody that person has never seen a tweet from is going to be at the very bottom of the priority list for them. Unless it is an incredibly funny or incredibly unique tweet then chances are it will quickly be flooded off their screen without really being looked at much.
Replying to posts! I honestly think this is the most important way to garner yourself exposure. You build your reputation and exposure by replying to posts in a way that would get their attention, possibly amuse them, without being over the top or abrasive. You can easily lose all of the priority you have gained with one post, no matter how long it took you to earn it. Once you have done this for a while then they will start to recognize your name when they see future posts and might pay a little more attention to it. There are two clear divides…people they follow and people they don’t follow…and I think there’s a priority hierarchy in both of those groups.
Getting people to retweet for you is a very powerful tool. You may only have a few followers, but if you have a friend that has hundreds of followers and they retweet something for you then suddenly their hundreds of followers will see it as well. One of their hundreds of followers could have millions of followers.
I know some of you are probably saying, “you’re new to Twitter, what makes you think you know best on how to use it?” I don’t think I know best. I don’t think I’m even close to knowing best. These are just some thoughts I had and I thought I would put them out there. I probably made it a lot longer than I wanted to. I’m just trying to think of the best way to further my web presence as I get closer to self publishing my novel and these are the strategies I have come up with to this point. I could have made it a lot longer, but I honestly thought it was probably way too long as it currently is.