5 Twitter accounts to learn a Tweet or two from
While some Twitter® accounts have millions of followers and others struggle to attract even 100, it’s key to remember that numbers are just one measure of success, says Sherrie Madia, PhD, an online instructor in the communication program at University of Phoenix. Engaging the audience also is important, she points out.
Here, Madia describes five successful Twitter accounts and what you can learn from them:
Library of Congress
All Tweets, which total more than 170 billion since Twitter’s inception in 2006, are logged here. This account is “authoritative but engaging,” says Madia, author of six books on social media.
In a time when people often believe anything they read online, she notes, the Library of Congress helps distinguish between noncredible and legitimate research. “You don’t have to go to [Washington] D.C. to dive in,” Madia adds, pointing out that this account proves libraries still are relevant in the digital age. “There are links to videos, pictures, articles and other engaging content every day,” she says.
What you can learn: If you offer engaging content, you’ll never become obsolete, and providing factual information that piques users’ interests will make them more inclined to link to your account.
The Atlantic Book Club
Followers of this account choose a book once a month by posting Tweets of their votes, and then discuss it on the social network. “I like it because it’s a clever way to conduct a book club,” Madia says, and it’s a useful option for people strapped for time.
What you can learn: Quality counts over quantity. Work on getting followers based on participation, not numbers, Madia advises. Even though the club’s following is relatively small — about 90,000 people — the audience is engaged and actively participates in book discussions, she says.
“She translated herself really well into this new channel,” Madia says about the author of young adult books, adding that Blume has reinvented herself for the social platform. Her account, Madia notes, offers relatable advice and wisdom for women of all ages.
What you can learn: Be the same person on your Twitter account that you are in real life. Blume follows that advice, Madia says, adding, “She’s always been a very real, authentic, tell-it-like-it-is, raw author. Twitter doesn’t turn her into something else.”
Barbie may be older than 50, but you’d never know it from her Twitter account. Toymaker Mattel reinvented its iconic doll to make Barbie fresh with a distinctive personality, style and tone, Madia says. Barbie keeps up on current events, fashion and celebrities, and Tweets about them regularly. “It’s tricky to bring a toy to life and give it personality,” Madia says, “and you can tell a lot of thought went into it.”
What you can learn: Be consistent. “Once you create a style,” Madia notes, keep it dependable. While there may be a team writing Barbie’s Tweets, they all sound like they come from the same source. “It’s believable,” she adds, “and we engage with it.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta
The CNN chief medical correspondent’s account covers health care breakthroughs, new research studies, best practices and Gupta’s perspectives on various health issues.
What you can learn: Be a credible source and offer information in a timely manner. With so many medical sites on the web, this feed is worthwhile because Gupta is a well-respected doctor, Madia says. Timing is another reason for this account’s success. Gupta’s Tweets often correlate to current events in health care.
“It’s not just what you’re saying,” Madia notes, “but when you’re saying it.”
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