Analytic Vision

Twitter Behavior (If You Just Started)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 08/10/2009

I’ve been on twitter for about 3 weeks now. You can follow me @analyticvision . I have made a few decisions concerning the behaviour on twitter which reflect my vision over networking, which I would like to share with you. First of all, Twitter is a tool. Abraham Maslow said once something like: “Beware of the one who has a hammer. He might see everything around as nails.”.

I started using twitter after participating at 2 events, RoTwitter Conference and Webstock. That means I saw a looooot of people talking about what to do and what not to do on twitter. I will follow up on that. But, more important, twitter is a tool for personal branding, which you want be use properly. Even if you don’t want to use it as a tool for personal branding, it doesn’t change the fact that it is.

Of course, twitter is easy to use. But beware how you use it. How come?

First of all, consider who’s on Twitter.

1. Who you follow says a lot of things about you. If, for example, somebody I don’t know asks me if I allow him or her to follow my tweets and doesn’t have anything about him / her on the profile, no link, and I don’t know the person, I look at what (s) he writes about and  who does (s)he follow. If you follow 4 people, out of which 1 is your neighbor, YOU ARE NOT RELEVANT.

Second, if you start writing, write interesting or at least decent things, so that people that have decided to follow you have what to read. What you write defines what perception your readers have on you. Remember each user starts getting your tweets after (s)he starts following you, which means…

2. Write only relevant things that share an interesting enough professional view for the people reading you. For example, I follow 100+ people. It’s not much, but if I would get in my stream only things like “I just woke up. Good morning” or “I just woke up. Bad morning.”, I would have the impression of wasting my time. Twitter is not YM. There are certain methods for relating on twitter. They are called  following, DM and RT. Or else, you will get Călin Fusu‘s reaction to Raluxa about which you can read here, among others.

Then, when you follow, at least follow people who write something. For example, I could follow Richard Bandler, or David Fincher, except for the fact they don’t write anything. So…

3. An empty shining basket won’t be very useful for you. It’s just like the guys who wear terrrible sunglasses just to show off, only showing not having any awareness about how to choose them. If you “follow” celebrities that don’t write anything, you might look like somebody who’s on twitter just to show off. Twitter is about content.

Twitter, by its nature is a very PUBLIC environment. One of the things that will happen when people are following you will be to quote you. So, if you are relevant, somebody else might capitalize by retweeting you. That’s not a danger by itself. What I mean is… Why do you care to select people you allow to follow you?

For example, I got following requests from: spammers, a guy that was pro-legalizing drugs and wrote nothing original on his blog for a month, a woman performing some sort of strange ritual, chat girls etc. I decided not to allow these people to watch my streamline, because I have a responsibility towards my content and how it is used. So…

4. Being relevant on Twitter is hard work. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It doesn’t matter how much followers you have, it matters that they are in your target. Think of it as a tool to exercise focused communication. You have a public. You have a message. You have intelligence. Use them. For example, I have 41 followers on twitter. I know it’s not much, but I am proud of each of them, for I have checked them. All of them. I went to their page, checked their tweets, checked their web page, who they follow, who follows them. If you want to be relevant, be relevant to the right people!

Then, use twitter as your real-time information source. I used to read about the events from comunicatedepresa.ro or from newsletters, not to mention large masses have the illusion that information is on TV. I still use web 1.0, but if I follow the right people, the events and all the relevant news will come to me. As a conclusion…

5. There is a difference between data and information. If you are on Twitter, you can get information from the sources you trust. Welcome to the real world!

Three of the other reasons why my tweets are protected, which means you can’t see what I write about unless I allow you to, are:

6. Privacy. When I write something about what I am doing now, in my life, I am sharing something which tells about me: what I am doing, what I am not doing, what I think, what I read, who I read, what I consider to be relevant, how much I interact, how many people follow me, who follows me, etc.

Your personal life is life and it should stay personal. Beware of how much and what you put out there. You cannot modify your tweets. It’s not like a wordpress post that you can edit how you like. Once you put it out there, you can only keep it or delete it.You won’t believe how much real information can get from you someone who just has access to some of your information.

7. If you have the possibility to know your public for free, why not use it? It’s basically a tool that allows you to know exactly who is interested enough to read what you write about. And when I write exactly, I mean it! If you keep your tweets protected, everyone who wants to read it will have to send you a request. You can then watch their information and select who you allow to read your profile.

8. Scarcity. If you know that not anyone (including any guy wandering on google who doesn’t even know what twitter is) can see somebody’s profile, it doesn’t make it so interesting, right? You are not attracted by what anyone can get. And you have all the reasons for it. Twitter is for intelligent people who know how to use it.

Another 2 things I just want to add are…

9. It’s really indicated to read what the people you follow write about, it’s a proof of interaction and presence, not to mention good sense. Of course, you may have periods when you don’t  follow for a week, like I did last week. You don’t have to spend an hour a day reading tweets, accessing links and Re-tweeting, but if you do that, the level at which you live your life might just substantially improve. Another thing you might be careful with is the more people you follow, the shorter the period covered by the 3200 tweets you may visualize from them can be.

10.Twitter is the greatest tool for self-discipline concerning the sources of information, meaning you have to choose.

For any further advice on how to use twitter, I suggest you consult Twitter Help. If you liked this article, please recommend the link, send it on twitter and/or comment on it. Also, please link/embed here as a comment any other relevant resources on how to use twitter which you might know. Thank you.

 

 

 

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5 Responses to “Twitter Behavior (If You Just Started)”

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