Oh, hold up! Where are the trees? The worts? The crystals?? Sorry, my friends, it is time to revisit Twitter. I’m only here to update you on something you really need to know about if you are a business tweeting your wares on Twitter. If you only use Twitter to have a good natter with friends or to find bargains, don’t worry. If you are a bot farmer or the follow train lot, then you need to worry…just leave would be for best. But this is a serious business for myself and other small business owners I have had the pleasure of getting to know in Twitterland. So, heads up, kids, and follow along.
You may, or may not know, that Twitter has changed the rules a bit recently…I suppose “changing the rules” is a bit over stating… they have “tarted up” the rules that were already in place. Apparently, this change had taken effect 23rd March 2018 [whilst I were playing moggy midwife] and I did not know until Thursday night last, 12th April, when I were scheduling Friday’s tweets on my Buffer account. I had gone to “re-buffer” a tweet from several weeks ago and it tells me:
“Twitter does not allow posting multiple tweets that are “substantially similar”. Please make sure to modify your tweet before scheduling to avoid risking account suspension! Learn more…”
I clicked the link, as you do, and read all about the changes as per Buffer. I’m a lot vexed with them as it took them until 12 April 2018 to notify its users? Anyway, if you have clicked the link and read this you will see that this has been in the works a while, still, the one line that blazed out at me was:
“…. are no longer permitted to enable users to share the same post to Twitter, either on multiple Twitter accounts, or multiple times on one account. “
This is what caused me a huge knee-jerk reaction and I have lost valuable time flogging my goods on Twitter since because – I am guilty. I have several hundred pre-written tweets for all my shop’s items so that I can copy and paste into my Buffer scheduler a week in advance if I like. This gives me the time to do what I need to do to sell – by making new items. I simply don’t have the time to make up new tweets and new pictures on a day-to-day basis. I know it would be better if I could. I mean, although I get a lot of compliments on my tweets I am sure that eventually my followers would like to see something new and different. And, because of that, I do take the time now and then to do a nice collage and re-word a tweet or put additional information onto an old tweet. But to do so everyday will be the end of my business because I simply can’t do everything. Nor can I afford to hire someone to do it for me, as nice as that would be. I am pretty much a one woman show apart from my youngest daughter who does make a few things. So, what do we do?
First, we don’t give up. Next, we must look at the situation as a “gift horse”, in a sense. My point being is this: Before I even knew about the changes being implemented, I had re-written several tweets and had made new collages for my wares. Wednesday last, I sent out all my bright, new tweets. Guess what happened? My links on those tweets received the best click-throughs they ever have! I was getting 60 – over 100 click-throughs on every one! Most days, I am lucky to get 2 or 3!
I think you may get the idea that for once in my life I agree with Twitter. Well, yes and no. I agree with Twitter about doing what they must to rid social media of bots, follow trains, and other dodgy sorts, i.e., dubious interest by other countries, no names mentioned here but you know the ones. I also agree in part with the idea of having fresh tweets so as not to bore to tears our followers. But, I do have a problem with not being able to re-use these tweets. Now, I have not exactly found anything yet that says you can never, ever, ever re-use a tweet. I have long known that trying to send the same tweet out within 24 hours is a huge no-no. Fair do’s that. Although…if you are selling internationally and let’s say, live in UK but want people in another time zone such as US or Australia to see this tweet during their waking hours, you can’t repeat it in 24 hours. What I have tried to do is space out about 7 tweets per day during good hours everywhere. Truthfully, I wish I could get away with scheduling tweets every hour, however, that would be a scheduling nightmare for me not to mention I would probably get done by Twitter very quickly. Back a few years ago I did send out tweets every two hours and had much more traffic to my online shop, but it was causing trouble, so I stopped.
There are ways to find out the best hours in your time zone to get retweets. I found mine through Buffer, however, there are apps which can do it as well. Some offer a free one-off chance to try it out, but I imagine in the long term, all must be paid for. Whether you pay an app or figure it out for yourself, it is highly recommended that you do. Next of all, believe this or not, it is best to tweet less these days than a lot. If you do a search for posting on social media, you will find most authors of blogs and tech-related writings will say “less is more”. It is, after all, quality in place of quantity what will give you the best results.
Now that I narrow it down this way, I find I just may have the time to come up with new tweets. Still, I am going to journal and save them all for future use. It may be months down the line, but I see no good reason for not doing so.
With this I am going to leave you with several helpful links, so you can swot up on the rules and some other useful information. I wish all my small business friends the best of luck in this new venture and happy tweeting!
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Links to Twitter Rules and Other Articles About Recent Changes:
Excellent blog by Christopher Mendla: https://www.chrismendlatech.com/2018/03/new-rules-for-duplicate-twitter-posts/
Twitter Rules: https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-rules
Developer Blog by Yoel Roth: https://blog.twitter.com/developer/en_us/topics/tips/2018/automation-and-the-use-of-multiple-accounts.html
Mashable [no matter how “big” you get, you can fall]: https://mashable.com/2018/03/10/twitter-suspends-tweetdeckers/#lXHiKE4P4Pql