“I Dont wanna be here”
These were the words of a tweet by then-Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe in 2017. The tweet was sublime in its simplicity, if not in punctuation. In five words, Bledsoe conveyed his desire to be traded. You didn’t need to know the back story, or much else about the situation. It was time to move on from an oft-clueless Phoenix franchise. Within days, the Suns traded Bledsoe to the Milwaukee Bucks. The team later signed Bledsoe to a long-term contract and then had the best record in the NBA this season. It started with that tweet.
This got me thinking about Twitter and what I’ve learned while using the platform. Here are a few thoughts, with a nod to what I’ll call the Bledsoe Effect.
Twitter is a highly adaptable platform. Bledsoe is going to have a different approach than someone looking for news or someone interested in mountain climbing or someone tweeting on behalf of a corporation, government agency or organization. Take for instance my favorite pastime of birding (a term interchangeably used with birdwatching). Photos of birds are often of most interest to my followers and draw the highest engagement levels. Toss in an interesting caption about Horned Grebes as a sign of spring and you might get a mini-Bledsoe effect and receive a nice response.
Twitter rewards consistency. Sure, everyone wants to fire off a random tweet occasionally. The beauty of the platform is that even a somewhat-thoughtless tweet typically goes away quickly. But if you are looking for engagement, it’s better to stay in your lane and become a presence within similar-minded tweeps. Then match the words in your Twitter profile to your lane so your interests are clear to your followers.
Twitter has the best analytics function in the business. Sometimes a low number of engagements belies what’s in your analytics. Take a look at detail expands, profile views and photo and video clicks and adjust your approach accordingly. Twitter analytics are easy to find from a drop-down in your account menu.
Tweeting is like “Field of Dreams,” if you tweet it, they will come. The more times you tweet, the more impressions you gain. Rather than your posts being viewed as impolite, it’s understood that Twitter lends itself to high volume. It’s good to tweet regularly. I’m often perplexed by well-known brands that send a single tweet weekly or monthly.
Twitter is the most irreverent of the major social media platforms. It’s important to suffuse your account with posts that are spontaneous and occasionally witty. Think of the tone of your tweets more like the funny texts you exchange with friends. Again, the Bledsoe Effect. His tweet worked because it said, “I Dont wanna be here,” rather than “I’ve formally requested a trade from the Phoenix Suns.”
The blog is a space for stories of the natural world and the occasional post about communications and strategy.