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3 Ways to Use Twitter Favorites

Posted By Guest Blogger 10th of April 2011 Social Media 0 Comments

This guest post is by Ryan Barton of The Smart Marketing Blog.

Until I began receiving notifications of Twitter followers “favoriting” my tweets, I admittedly hadn’t thought much of the Favorites feature.

Some use it as a reminder to follow-up on a tweet’s topic. Others favorite a tweet they find funny. And some users go as far as importing favorite tweets on their Facebook page, email signatures, or even packaging them as an ebook.

There’s no wrong way to favorite a tweet (unless you’re favoriting every single update you read), but it’s worth considering a few other applications.

1. Completing your profile

I’d make a case that your favorite tweets tell a follower as much about you as your bio does.

Your Twitter bio tells followers what you want them to know about you, while your favorite tweets are a visual representation of what’s actually important. And more often than not, what’s important to you (humor, follow-ups, etc.) is more telling than any marketing copy.

Especially as Twitter continues to explode with spam bots, follow-backs aren’t obligations: they’re earned. And that earn process now includes more than a bio, a few tweets and a URL. Even bots have those.

But filling your stream with @ interactions and marking some of your favorite tweets, visually-demonstrate that you’re more than a casual stalker observer.

2. Word-of-mouth recommendations

It’s no secret—social media is the digital form of testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing. And that means platforms like Twitter are hugely-effective methods of growing your brand.

I’ll trust my followers’ opinions about a product exponentially more than I would an integrated marketing campaign for the same.

So using Favorites as a way to establish my authority through others’ tweets is my primary use of the feature.

Should a user check my favorite tweets, they’ll see kind words about my guest posts and the same about my book release.

I didn’t solicit their tweets, but now that they’re out there, I’m capturing them—curating them—in an online presentation of some of my favorite things.

It’s significant when those tweets are coming from some of the Internet’s most influential players. And if it means a lot to me, chances are it’ll mean a lot to a user who’s considering following me.

Seth wrote a post a while back about a prospect’s first impression of your digital self. In his case, it was watching reading his blog. It was tempting to run over and tell them to ignore this one or that one, but look at that one because he really put a lot of thought into that one.

It’s similar with Twitter. “Noooo, I didn’t want you to see those tweets, look at these … over here, instead, these tweets are more representative of who I am.”

Using Favorites like your digital refrigerator— showing off your A+ work—ensures that no matter where you are or what you’re doing and saying, your best side will always be showing.

3. Encouraging others

I’ve had followers favorite some of my most random tweets. But I’ve also had followers favorite some marketing advice they thought was valuable, or a link to one of my latest blog posts they wanted to reread at a later time.

Often, seeing the way users favorite my tweets tells me what’s resonating with my community. It’s a valuable real-time feedback mechanism. It’s also a new form of encouragement.

I think of encouragement like a fuel tank. I fuel my late nights and long hours from the tank; eventually it’ll run low. But through one form of encouragement or another—in this case, as simple as favoring a tweet—my encouragement tank is refueled a bit.

Think of favoriting as a new form of Twitter interaction that’s perhaps more meaningful than any @ reply. It’s more than “nice article,” it’s validation that your writing struck a chord; you’re on to something.

What’s more, you’re encouraging the user to continue producing quality content—and that makes the Internet a more intelligent place.

Do you use Favorites differently? Are the rules different for a business account? Leave a comment and share your thoughts below.

Ryan Barton is the author of the “Smart Marketing” eBook and he writes at The Smart Marketing Blog for Small Business Success; you can follow him on Twitter, where he shares entirely too much information. He wrote “Smart Marketing” with the intent that small businesses would glean insightful information and tangible marketing strategies so they too, could compete competitively with industry giants.

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  1. Thanks for these breakdown Ryan, I’ll surely look into it. Thanks

  2. I honestly haven’t used these feature. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  3. Haven’t favourited any tweets individually before. Not as well aquainted with twitter as i’d like to be but I’m getting there :)

  4. These tips really nice. These help to newbie proper use of twitter.

  5. I’ve always used the Favorites feature as a bookmark for tweets I want to follow up on later. I didn’t know the original Tweeter was notified when a tweet was favorited.

  6. I’m not using this feature yet but i will educate myself on it and try to implement it.

  7. Carl Axel Franzon says: 04/10/2011 at 2:36 am

    Thanks for the tips. I just recently discovered favorites and was trying to decide what value they have.

  8. Wow this is genius. I would’ve never thought to use the Favorite button in such a way. I’ve used it maybe once to come back to a tweet, but that was it.

    Thank you so much for this because I’m literally trying to work on building a platform so I can launch a book in the future. This will certainly be of some use/help. :)

  9. This is a great way to get more traffic to your website. Awesome tip. Thanks for sharing, Ryan.

  10. thanks a lot for this post. We should make the maximum use of twitter and the tips you give are helpful. Ive never favourite tweets individually.

  11. I can’t believe so far many people have said they’ve never favorite tweets individually. I’ve done it since I’ve first started. I use it like a bookmark for a webpage.

    I definitely have a lot of favorite Tweets. Maybe too many! The way I use it is when I want to read something for later. Usually it’s a post from a blogger, a RT of a post, or a Youtube video. I have so much content saved that I haven’t read yet. However I still want to read it.

    It definitely shows what I’m most interested in reading and learning more about.

    Here is my list if anyone is interested http://twitter.com/Benny_Hsu/favorites

    It’s probably similar to most Problogger readers.

  12. I’ve been “favoriting” tweets for years but it wasn’t until recently that I found out people knew when you did that. I was actually thanked for favoriting a tweet. Interesting in itself.

    I completely agree that people can get to know you even better via your favorites for all the reasons you stated. Nicely done!

    As for businesses favoriting tweets, I think it’s the same. The most important part is that whoever’s tweet you favorite they see that you noticed what they had to say. And there’s certainly a lot of emotion in being noticed (or not noticed).

  13. You know what…I’ve completed ignored this feature of Twitter until now. I knew it was there, I just never gave it any attention. I’ll be sure to use it from now on. Thanks for the advice.

    • Chris — you and I both. It’s a silent little feature, but used properly, I think it has a lot of power behind it. Thanks for reading!

  14. I think I’ll keep using the favorite tweet feature as I currently do. When I’m reading tweets on my phone I’ll favorite a tweet if I want to follow-up from a computer. I think people looking at my favorite tweets list would be very confused as there is a wide variety of topics.

  15. word of mouth works like gossip. Have used it and it gave me great results.

  16. Yea, I’ve got at least 2K+ tweets favorited. If I favorite a tweet, the tweeter is most likely going to go on the upcoming #FF list or be read at some later date and RTd and/or released if I don’t care for the article.

  17. Yeah actually I use them to just mark some of my art so I can find it easily to re-tweet again without having go back to etsy and find the piece. altho as I am finding my way around and thinking of different ways to market myself, I am using favs to re-read like you mentioned and also to note a change in my views because maybe one certain re-tweet really brought a lot of new views. If that makes sense.
    peace n abundance,

  18. I do it when i found something interesting , real , that i want to remember or use after …or just i do not have time to read at the moment !!

  19. I only thought about re tweets but now i understand think favorite tweets brings more loyal readers

    • Agreed Chris — to me, there’s more than one way to show your appreciation for somebody’s work. Thanks again for reading.

  20. I use Favorites as a teaching tool. It’s one of the best ways to grab and keep key hashtag tweets, for example, when you’re trying to illustrate the effectiveness of Twitter in a livetweet or crisis situation.

  21. I have just started using this feature and was glad to catch a tweet to this post. You bring out very good points that I had not thought of about it.

    Very good read, now to retweet the retweet of this post!

  22. I never looked at it that way. My primary reason to use it is to checkout certain links later (especially when I’m checking twitter on my phone) but the suggested usage for “social proof” is genius. Simply genius.

  23. you are absolutely right even smallest of appreciation brings a great deal of motivation and helps to pour even efforts.
    I never thought of using this feature (favorite tweet) and its significance. Thank mate for doing excellent job and sharing it us.

  24. Never used this favourite feature before. Going to take a look into it. Thanks!

  25. So that’s what the Favorites buttons does and how it should be used. You just made a fan.

  26. I have favorite’ed’ :) tweets before because I wanted to utilize the information later and saw a few people did that to mine. I never thought of it in this way. Brilliant! Thank you so much!

  27. I never thought of using Favoriting the way you explain it … and I am going to check that out, it sounds like it could be helpful at getting noticed, and as Deb Augur says in an earlier comment ” there’s certainly a lot of emotion in being noticed (or not noticed)”

    Thank for the information Ryan,

    Fran :)

  28. Brenda says: 04/11/2011 at 3:56 am

    Thanks for sharing this Ryan. I’ve been using favorites to save tweets for RT or, like Dan, to view on computer later due to tiny screen size of my IPod or phone, or because it requires a flash player to be viewed. Guess I owe all of my awesome tweeters a big apology for the way I’ve been using this feature…I didn’t know this :( . Need to find another way to save tweets.

  29. Twitter is becoming over saturated with so caller “internet marketers”

  30. Joyce Asbury (briarose23) says: 04/11/2011 at 7:08 am

    I have to admit I have never even heard of favorites before, except once when someone I was following mentioned checking to see how many people were following him. Where is this favorites button? I hate sounding so stupid so please forgive my ignorance.Thanks for all the great information, people like me who really want to become more skilled in their use of twitter and their computer need this help.

  31. Thanks for the article! I’m trying to use Twitter more effectively and this should help so much. Going to get at it right now!

  32. Dan Ross says: 04/11/2011 at 7:33 am

    Ryan, nice sample of ideas.

    I have used them for various purposes while on Twitter

    1) to curate by subject (great quotes , info graphics, etc)
    2) to create lists
    3) to highlight / denote topics retweeted ( what strikes a nerve with folks)

    I think the possibilities are only limited by ones imagination and STRATEGY / GOALS they have identified as important.

    Dan Ross

  33. Nice post. Read many thing about twitter but the use of favorite tweet i read first time. Thanks.

  34. You touched a little bit on how recommendations can propel business and using favorites can help you link back to the content. But as a small business owner and a person that wants to create valuable content, how would you suggest using favorites to help build your brand? Would it be the same as linking to other people that may need your services? I guess I’m just trying to better understand how this can benefit a target market.
    Thanks for your input!

    • I think Favorites can be a powerful way to show somebody new to your brand how others feel about it. Do you see tweets raving about your service? Somebody referring your product to somebody else?

      I’d Favorite those because without saying “other people like us,” it’s showing impartially other customers like themselves.

  35. Ryan, thanks for the post…definitely good ways to use twitter-favorites. I’ll keep them in mind.

  36. I’ve wanted to learn how to use Twitter better for quite some time, but it all seemed so overwhelming. I didn’t even know where to start…thanks to your post I now know how to use twitter way better than before…and I learned it in under 10 minutes!

    Thanks Ryan! Keep up the excellent work!

  37. I started using Twitter a few days ago and never understood favorites..Thanks for this post!

  38. I actually use my Twitter favourites more as a way of saving tweets for me to read later, especially when I’m out on the road and not near a decent internet connection. I’ll often go through them later and decide which ones I will retweet or just look at.

  39. Twitter seems bit non user friendly to me because of which i still haven’t used this feature. I will try now thanks for sharing.

  40. The only way I know to use twitter is following and than sending direct msg with the link to my site

  41. I use the fav constantly to mark items I may want to get back to. I have so many (4000+) that finding a single tweet can be a pain. Sooo… I took the RSS feed for my Twitter Favorites page and subscribed to it in Google Reader. Now my all my favorites are archived in Google Reader forever… And the best part! Google Reader will let you search within a single feed or folder, so now I can within just my Twitter Favorites if I want (something you can’t even do with Twitter’s own search). :D

    Also if you have an iPad you can make your Twitter Favs searchable with an app called Tweet Library. It will maintain a local archive of your favs and allow you to search them.

  42. I had never given it a second glance. Now I’m going to use it more often. Thanks so much.

  43. Haven’t really used favorites before until recently. I have used it when clients mention our services or says something good about us. Guess its high time to start using it as much as I use the “like” button in FB. Thanks for sharing

  44. Actually, i haven’t used this “favorite” feature of Twitter. Thanks for introducing it to me. I’ll definitely look into it’s usefulness for my twitter marketing. :)

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