Okay, content creators, listen up. I’m tired of it. I’ve had enough!

Would all the Twitter writers in the world who continually send out headlines of their blog posts, articles and other content please stop? Please?

I am so bored of seeing 4 or 5 of your posts daily on Twitter and all they ever say is ‘Here’s my latest post’ or ‘Insert headline copy that is almost clever’.

Talk with me, not at me

To those of you who a while ago figured out that you can actually talk with your audience, rather than at them – thank you! Thank you very very much for being an example for the rest of us to follow.

Thank you for posing interesting questions. Thank you for offering your interesting thoughts, your foibles and your lessons learned. Thank you for being you.

What’s in a name?

Social media is “social”. Social is defined as:

  1. living or preferring to live in a community rather than alone
  2. denoting or relating to human society or any of its subdivisions
  3. of, relating to, or characteristic of the experience, behaviour, and interaction of persons forming groups

(“social.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 03 Aug. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/social>.

By its very nature, social media includes other people.

When you churn out a stream of mini-adverts for your content, you risk putting off your readers because you are not including them, you are not engaging them. Just like ‘real social life’, when you meet a person who only ever talks about themselves, you stop listening and you make excuses to avoid them. You can and should post some official tweets just like you would tell about what’s happening in your life with friends and colleagues. However, it’s about getting the balance right.

The art of content vs conversation

Don’t be that boring person. Try these techniques for engaging with your audience:

  • pose a question that you are struggling with or that you would like to know about your audience
  • suggest an interesting piece of content that isn’t about you
  • follow your followers and respond to their tweets
  • instead of just tweeting your headline, say how you felt when you wrote it: ‘I was frustrated by poor tweets, so I wrote this post’

I once heard a man tell his children they had 2 ears and 1 mouth, and should use them in that proportion.

With practice, and by listening to your audience, you will find that you’ll very quickly get a lot of inspiration from being social – and maybe so will your following.

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