Microblogging For Dummies
You may be reading this by fluke, or you may be someone looking to start micro-blogging. Believe it or not, if you have a social media account such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, then my friend, you already have a micro-blog!
No one taught us how to use social media, we just did it; people living in this generation are natural micro-bloggers. We’re not all quite experts, but most of us are competent at the basics.
Nonetheless, after reading this blog, you can consider yourself an expert.
Take it from me, Abby Wynne; “micro-blogging master”. With a grand total of 9 Twitter followers.
But don’t be fooled, I know my stuff.
Ready, steady, go!
Let me take a step back and make sure you really know what micro-blogging is.
A blog post on Lifewire describes it as;
”A combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create short messages to be posted and shared with an audience online.”
These short messages can come in the form of a variety of content formats including text, images, video, audio, and hyperlinks.
Micro-blogging can be done as its own entity, but it also works hand in hand with mainstream blogging and is a very good way to promote your normal blog.
But, why do it?
There are plenty of reasons as to why you should microblog, my university lecturer summed it up well here:
9 ways to succeed in your venture into microblogging
Don’t be a “know it all”
Have a clear focus and hone in one aspect of life, work, or something that you have an interest in. Become an expert in that field, and solely post about it.
You will get like-minded people following you, wanting to know more about your particular topic.
Figure out your voice
Once you have a chosen area of expertise, you must figure out your tone of voice. Are you funny? Serious? Casual?
Whatever the tone you choose, make sure it works with your theme, and be consistent with it.
Just because microblogs are online, does not mean you can forget about everything you were taught in school. Make sure your grammar, punctuation, and spelling are correct.
The best way to do this is to spend time on your posts and re-read them before you publish them, rather than treating them like a rushed text message.
You can pre-write your posts and schedule when they get posted, it’s a game-changer!
This helps with time management, proofreading (correct grammar), and the consistency of your micro-blog.
Try live blogging
One of the best ways to increase audience engagement is to post regularly about your focus. This can be achieved through live-blogging an event. In a blog titled “Best practices for journalists”, it stated:
“Research shows that for people who post a concentrated number of Tweets in a short time span, follower growth is 50% more than average (1.5x)”.
If you are interested in sports journalism like me, then live-blogging is very common. Hundreds of sporting events around the globe are live-tweeted on a regular basis. I got involved and live-tweeted a Premier League football game.
When you live-tweet an event and use appropriate trending hashtags, you are bound to get more traffic to your blog. People will be searching up key words and specific hashtags, and your posts will be in amongst the others with the same hashtags that come up.
Just one of my tweets gained 1,411 impressions and 220 engagements.
Considering I have a grand total of 9 followers, it’s pretty good!
Don’t forget, this can also be done on Instagram or Facebook. You can do live stories or live blogs through status updates, posts and/or story updates.
Use hashtags and mentions appropriately
This is something I didn’t do very well on when I first started micro-blogging. I would write my post and then chuck in as many hashtags as I could think of at the end. This looks messy and unprofessional.
Instead, you should hashtag keywords in your paragraphs, and mention people if you write their name.
Use hashtags to identify the topic of conversation and group certain posts together, so in the future, they can be easily found under the same hashtag.
Variety of media and features
Keep your audience engaged by changing the type of media you use. You can use images, sound, text, video and GIFs.
Instagram’s algorithm uses the amount of time spent viewing your content as a factor in determining its popularity. Thus, make the most of the features available such as GIFs, polls, questions, stickers, so that people stop and spend more time looking at your story.
Additionally, polls are great to be used on all platforms because they encourage the reader to interact. The more your audience engages with your content, the more likely it will be to show up on their feed in the future.
Treat others how you would like to be treated
Follow and support other people with similar interests to you by interacting with their content. More often than not, they will return the favour and interact back with your blog.
There’s a whole online world of people out there waiting for you!
Notice what works and repeat it
Look through your posts and see what got the most engagement. Is there a pattern in what your audience interacts with the most? If so then post more of this content.
Likes, comments, and retweets are all a sign of a successful micro-blog post. You can also look at your analytics in settings on most social media sites which will give you details on your audience engagement.
I hope this guide has helped, it worked for me! But, each audience is different, so what works for mine, might not work for yours. Play around with it all and see what engages your audience the most.