Graduate from the Twitter Transit Lounge to the Sunny Community
“…Average Jane spends nearly an hour a day on Facebook, every single day… [yet] people spend just 1 minute each day on Twitter!” (MeetEdgar.com)
If we believe these stats (which would make me a super-outlier and somebody in dire need of therapy), 1 minute is not much to work with to build a community. On the surface, Twitter seems filled with sell-side hagglers looking to upsell anything that moves. It’s true that everybody here has an angle, from brand building, peddling services, to outright scamming…
If It Doesn’t Work for You, Change You
Twitter works. It’s been bombarded with complaints for over a decade and hasn’t faltered yet. One reason why, If you dig deeper, is that you will find a healthy, vibrant and interesting community fueled by plenty of banter, debate, idea-sharing, advice, humor, and yes, BS.
Community Building with Twitter Chats
This follows the spirit of my last post, “It’s All About the Story, Even on Twitter”. I wanted to experiment further with community building through longer Twitter interactions, so I just added a Twitter Chat Form on my site ‘ViralML.com’.
Besides the obvious technical advantage of pushing all the backend headaches onto Twitter, it also alleviates some of the “attention-span” shortcomings of the tool. It is trivial to set up if you have access to a web server and a great way of allowing readers to interact with you. It also puts all tag specific conversations in a neat bucket for you to keep track.
Even if you don’t have access to a web server, if you can add a link to your page (like a WordPress or Github.io page), you can simply add the following code to your HTML and your readers will be able to communicate.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=%23ViralML “ target=’_blank’>Tweet Me</a>
This is boiler-plate Twitter intent button code. The only customization to the link is the added hashtag of “#ViralML” (URL encoded # symbol is %23). The hashtag is obviously critical as it is the glue that will separate this post from the other 500 million other ones every day. This will redirect the browser to a basic Twitter entry form and, as long as the participator has a valid Twitter account and they use the included hashtag, you got yourself a conversation.
How It Works
The concept is simple, let’s take my ViralML.com or amunategui.github.io data science websites. If a reader wants to talk to me, whether to say something nice, mean or more realistically one of the more popular asks, “hey, can you help with the coding part of my CS thesis?”, they just need to push the red “Tweet Me” button to get the conversation started. Best of all, it is shared with the entire world so anybody from the community can step in and partake.
Thanks for reading!
If you are looking for branding help or want to apply similar techniques at scale, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org