Not long ago, someone told me that, “Twitter is not all that. . . .” If you want a juicy steak or a roller coaster ride, Twitter may not be the answer, although you could certainly find those yummy thrills on Twitter–at least pictures or videos of them.
So why Twitter? Why not spend your social networking time on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest? These are fine social platforms, for sure, but if you want to easily reach millions of people–millions of learners–Twitter is the answer.
Best of all, you can reach millions on Twitter, even if you don’t have a huge following. Here are three simple ways Twitter helps you reach millions of learners.
1 – Twitter helps you make an impression
When tweeting to a large following or making use of a Twitter hashtag, like #TTOG (Teachers Throwing Out Grades), your tweets make a very large impression.
An impression happens when you or a student sends a tweet, and that tweet hits many timelines or accounts. “But I only have 100 followers, so how can I make a big impression?” Easy, because of the power and simplicity of Twitter.
If you tweet to 100 followers, you reach 100 people. If your tweet includes the hashtag #TTOG, and 500 people are using that hashtag, you now have the potential to make an impression on 600 people (your original 100 and 500 viewing the #TTOG Twitter feed).
Those 100 followers have more power than you know, though. Suppose one of those followers, @markbarnes19, retweets your tweet. This means he sends your words and maybe a link you’ve included to his tens of thousands of followers. Suppose 1,000 of them see the retweet. Now, you’ve made an impression on 1,500 “tweeple” (your 100 followers, 500 on the #edtech hashtag, and 1,000 others following of an influencer who shared your content).
This doesn’t typically mean all 1,500 people see your tweet; it means you’ve made an impression and, thus, created the possibility to reach this large audience. If you want to share something important and even 10 percent of those account holders actually see your tweet, that’s 150 people you’ve impressed. Now, what if some of those 150 people interact with you and your content?
2 – Twitter gets you engaged
While Twitter may not help you find your soulmate (it’s not impossible, I suppose), Twitter will help you engage with a large audience.
Unlike impressions, engagements may not be as impressive in terms of volume, but engagements are much more important than impressions. Twitter engagements demonstrate actual interaction with your tweet. Engagements are defined by the total number of people who retweet, favorite, and mention you.
The tweet pictured to the right, “How one teacher eliminated grades in his classroom and found inspiration,” includes a link to an EdWeek article about a no-grades classroom. This one tweet earned a whopping 801 engagements over the course of 28 days. Some people mentioned me (meaning they tweeted me directly from this tweet), some retweeted the tweet and others favorited the tweet, meaning they archived it to view the linked article later.
3 – Twitter builds readership
We share links to content all the time. Sometimes we link to a news article or a picture of our dog. Obviously, we want people to click these links. Clicks are the Gold Standard in content sharing.
Twitter makes sharing content remarkably easy. You or your students can embed a Youtube video, picture or link to your blog post directly into a tweet, and if you activate Twitter cards, your graphic or video will show up and play from inside the tweet. Wow, that’s serious engagement.
Sometimes, we want people to click the link, so we can bring them to our blog or archive. You may have reached this particular post, because you found it linked in a tweet about, what else, Twitter.
When people click those Twitter links, it builds readership, and this is what content curation is all about. Brilliant or Insane attracts tens of thousands of readers every month, just from Twitter links. The four tweets in the graphic above inspired more than 1,000 combined clicks. Imagine how you can increase these numbers when you tweet the same link more than once.
Remember, these clicks bring eyes to your content. If you’re encouraging students to create content and share it to social networks like Twitter, teach them this powerful concept.
Teach them how to connect with millions of learners around the world.
Now, when someone tells you, “Twitter isn’t all that. . .,” you can explain why it is.