A friend recently commented, “I’m on Twitter. Now what? It seems kind of pointless.”
I confess I felt like this at first too. It seemed kind of pointless to be sending out Tweets that no on was reading. I decided to get a strategy.
First I started following Deborah Micek – you’ll remember her from my previous post on Twitter. Next I looked up a couple of top level internet marketers whose work I’ve been following in other ways – newsletters, teleseminars and Facebook.
So now I was following a handful of people. I decided to check out who these people were following. You can do this by clicking on their name in your feed which will take you to their home page. In the right sidebar, click on “following” to be taken to a page of who they follow.
I did this with the people I was following and looked first for names I recognized. I also checked out some of the bios of people I didn’t know and started to follow them as well. As I write this I’m following 40 people.
I kept writing Tweets and soon I noticed that some of the people I was following were following me. Now I’m in a two-way conversation. Even more exciting, a few people I don’t know at all began following me. In a couple of cases, my new followers (that sounds hilarious) found me on Facebook. We’re now Facebook friends and have exchanged some emails and wall posts. This is what they mean by social media.
Twitter also allows you to reply directly to other people’s Tweets. In Twitter, if you start your Tweet with @andreastenberg you send your Tweet directly to my feed, even if I’m not following you.
And not only can I see it, but all of my followers can too. This is how to build your Twitter tribe; by making yourself known and starting conversations. If you have intelligent or witty comments that add to the conversation, you build your presence on Twitter.
Deborah Micek suggests that only one out of six posts be about your business, the rest should be personal. This is the tricky part. How to be personal without being pointless. Do I really care that you’re going for a walk? Not really. Will I care if you saw something amazing on your walk? Maybe. The trick is to write things that allow your followers to get to know you as a person without being trivial. And do it in 140 characters.
Since I’ve only been on Twitter for nine days I’m hardly an expert. But I do confess that I find this particular mode of communication strangely compelling; almost addicting. It’s fun following what other people are doing, and trying to find interesting things of my own to add.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Just getting started on Twitter (or planning to)? You can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/andreastenberg.