March 3, 2009

How To Win Friends and Influence Tweeple

Posted in Social Media, Uncategorized tagged at 9:41 am by R

Lately, more than any other social media platform,  I’m hearing SO much about Twitter and its importance in building personal and professional brands.


Perhaps as a testament to our dwindling attention spans, Twitter’s 140 character limit challenges us to boil down messages to the most captivating and strategic points. Though the content space is limited, Twitter’s power is in that it forces users to provide richness in that small space.

The currency of Twitter is followers. The more followers you have the more power you’ve got — especially if you’re working to spread strategic messages. But how, specifically, do you earn followers?

Here are a couple of my thoughts on how to be a good ‘Twitizin’ earning valuable followers:

  1. Don’t spew worthless tweets — Be a meaningful content generator. Tweet about interesting articles and timely topics, post valuable links. Steer clear of overly (or consistently) vapid tweets. No one will care that you’re tired and need a latte EVERY morning to survive.
  2. Stick to a theme — In much the same way as you might narrow the focus of a blog — say a Gen Y PR blog for example — stick to topic matter with your tweeting. By doing this you can begin to establish yourself as an expert and will gain followers based on that expertise.
  3. Be a good Re-Tweeter — This idea falls somewhere under the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” theory. The advantage of followers are the networks they are attached to. When your followers Re-tweet posts it amplifies the power of that idea exponentially. Re-tweets that are really valuable spread like wildfire and can get an important message across very quickly. So. Repay the favor. Re-tweet valuable messages from others’. Give them the benefit of spreading their message among your network of followers.
  4. Find your Voice and be Authentic — I feel strongly that having the same personal and personality in all social media you use to represent yourself is incredibly important. It can be confusing to read a blog in one voice only to discover a totally different personality on another network/medium. If you have other existing social networking profiles, stay true to the brand you’ve already established there.
  5. Stick With It — No, you do not have to tweet about every single second of your life. But don’t vanish from the ‘twitiverse’ either. As with all social media/networking, it’s a commitment. Stay involved in conversation. Reply to comments made @ your attention. Participate. Participate. Participate.
  6. Be a Resource — If you’ve got the answer to a question or problem expressed in a tweet, ANSWER. Offer legitimate advice or links that will help your fellow ‘tweeple.’ Case in point: a reporter I follow was looking for stories. I asked what kind of stories he was looking for. Five minutes later I was emailing him a pitch with exactly the kind of content he was looking for.

I admit, I’m not all the way there on perfecting my ‘tweetiquette’. I muddle through some days offering sub par content, ignoring valuable re-tweets and  can be slow to respond to replies. I’m convinced everyone using Twitter is still mastering the potential and continually realizing what more can be done, or what they wish could be undone. Such is the nature of human communication no matter what form it takes.

In the meantime, one thing I’m getting really good at is blending “twit” and “tweet” into commonly used communication terms thereby making them Twitter specific. 🙂

Happy Tweeting!



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