Having just clocked one year and 10,000 followers on Twitter, I felt I should report my learnings.
At first I thought I’d just cover basic stuff (e.g. who to follow, how to list, behaviours to avoid).
Then I realised Twitter ‘truths’ were far more important than Twitter ‘tips’.
It seems impossible such a simple (and apparently frivolous) application could impart wisdom, but there it is.
So here I go.
1. Be yourself.
Genuine humans thrive in Twitter. Fakers, flooders and floggers (though infuriating) do get smacked down in due course.
This isn’t obvious to the casual observer, who understandably concludes Twitter is crap.
Yet when you open yourself to a community and reveal true elements of your life and loves, everyone enjoys the exchange.
Being yourself is also easier than maintaining a fake persona. As Mark Twain said: ‘When you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything’.
2. Be open.
I began Twitter to get more copywriting clients. I achieved that and gained a suite of handy contacts, fascinating colleagues and loyal friends from sectors, countries and professions I never thought I’d encounter.
Because I was open to these people, they named me in magazines, featured me on blogs, recommended me to others and sent me a truckload of free ideas and information.
This rich, unexpected education has been amazing. I’ve seen and done things way beyond my expertise and comfort zone.
I feel stronger, safer and more mature as a result.
3. Choose quality.
A thousand nameless fans aren’t as fun, useful or interesting as one genuine contact. Yes, I have 10,000 followers. No, I can’t interact meaningfully with them all.
I can, however, pick the gems from the dross and build real relationships with a few dozen kind, clever cats.
4. Be generous.
I’ve long been a fan of the saying ‘you can’t give good away’. Seth Godin says likewise in his latest freebook. Twitter has shown me time and again this is true.
Online, the Law of Mutual Reciprocity is SO powerful, it needs BIG metaphor:
It’s like spitting out the window of a 300 km/h bullet train. Before you can blink, it comes back at you in a thousand irresistible fragments. Try it! (Online, I mean.)
If you straddle several chairs you’ll probably fall between them. It’s the same with social media.
You’ll never see the sun!
Instead, check them all out, choose the one or two that feel right for you (and your clients) and spend time being open, genuine and generous there.
Twitter and blogging are my faves. The concerted effort I invest in these is well worth it.
That’s my story, anyway. How about you?
Are you Twitter friend or foe?
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire