I’ve been on Twitter for about 3 weeks now. You can follow me @analyticvision. I have made a few decisions concerning the behavior on Twitter which reflect my vision of 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 in 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 importantly, Twitter is a tool for personal branding that you want to use correctly. 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 of 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. So if you follow 4 people, 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 of 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 specific methods for relating on Twitter. They are called the following, DM and RT. Or else, you will get Călin Fusu’s reaction to Raluxa, 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 they don’t write anything. So…
3. An empty shining basket won’t be handy for you. It’s just like the guys who wear terrible sunglasses just to show off, only showing not having any awareness about how to choose them. Likewise, if you “follow” celebrities that don’t write anything, you might look like somebody 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 in itself. What I mean is… Why do you care to select people you allow to follow you?
For example, I got the 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 streamlining because I am responsible for my content and its use. So…
4. Being relevant on Twitter is hard work. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality. It doesn’t matter how many 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, and 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. In conclusion…
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 confidential. But 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 factual information can get from you someone who just has access to some of your data.
7. If you can know your public for free, why not use it? It’s a tool that lets you know exactly who is interested enough to read what you write about. And when I write precisely, 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 whom 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 enjoyable, 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 proof of interaction and presence, not to mention good sense. Of course, you may have periods when you don’t mind 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 you live your life might 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 most excellent tool for self-discipline concerning the sources of information, meaning you have to choose.
For further advice on using Twitter, I suggest you consult Twitter Help. If you liked this article, please recommend the link, send it on Twitter, and/or comment. Also, please link/embed here as a comment any other relevant resources on how to use Twitter that you might know. Thank you.
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