Twitter & I met less than 3 months ago. We were off to a rough start! We didn’t understand each other! I didn’t know what she was asking me to do. She was very demanding. She kept nothing for herself. She kept inviting people over and most of them I never knew before. I wanted to elaborate, but she always cut me short. She was so loud and all over the place. I wanted to break up, but everybody kept telling me how great she really is once I get to know her. Needless to say, she was famous! So I decided to give us another chance and we started seeking out couple’s therapy. To be frank, we saw many “specialist” and read a lot books to help our relationship. I have to confess, these helped but it wasn’t until I really listened to her that I started loving her. In this blog, I want to tell you more about how our relationship moved from a near breakup to a great love story.
She wants me to dress up and look great. With 2 million plus users on Twitter around the globe, it’s needless to say you have to be different to stand out. It starts off by having a profile that stands out. Let your twitter background reflect the personality of your brand. There are great examples out there (@mashable, @Mike_Stelzner, @DanSchawbel).
She wants me to socialize with others. Twitter is all about building relationships. I strongly believe in giving credit where due – so when someone posts something you found valuable, @reply them and link to their post. Similarly, if someone else tweeted an article that they read, RT (retweet) it, don’t claim it as your own – this creates a link. Wondering about something, chances are someone else is probably thinking about the same thing, maybe you can help each other. It happened to me – I wanted to get some statistics about the number of Twitter Users in the Middle East and GCC region; so I just posted my request and less than 24hrs later, @aitmit got back to me with an incredible report containing all the info I needed and more! To add to the magic of twitter, it’s crucial to tell you that I didn’t know this person from before – I just started following him 2 days earlier. WOW!
She wants me to be up-to-date. No one has the time to blog, tweet, update Facebook, and research updated information about the subjects they’re interested in – well maybe some do, but not me. There are tools out there that are very reliable and helpful for gathering up information and posting it. Personally, I use Addictomatic – it searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. I’m interested in subjects like, Personal Branding, Social Media, Google … so I have customized pages on Addictomatic that generate all that’s being talked about regarding these topics. So I select the posts that I like and tweet them to my followers. The key word in the previous sentence is “like” – you actually have to read that piece of news before sharing it – you owe it to your followers to provide them with valuable information. This is how you create loyalty and a voice for yourself, one that others can trust.
She wants me to be great manager. As for posting my tweets, I use HootSuite – it allows me to update all my social media platforms, including wordpress. So I use it for my Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Fan Page, and LinkedIn. You can tick which of these site you’d like the following post to go onto. I don’t like to update my LinkedIn as often as my Facebook, similarly, I don’t like to update that latter as much as my Twitter. Another great thing about this tool, when it comes to Twitter, it shows you 4 distinct columns – feeds, mentions, direct messages, and pending tweets. I particularly like that last one, where you can actually schedule tweets to be posted when you’re away from your PC – I call these the “refresher tweets”. However be careful not to sound like a broken record or a parrot – only repost tweets that you believe are worth being viewed by your audience. In my case, I usually refresh my important tweets twice a day, to target the different time-zones.
She wants me to choose my friends wisely. I am completely against using tools that just pile up your followers. Ever since I got really get active on twitter, which is less than a week ago, i started getting around 20 new followers a day. To many that number is nothing; to me it’s a steady start that I am quite satisfied with. I check every single profile and decide who to follow back. How? well, I read their last couple of tweets – are they trying to sell something; are they just telling me what they had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – if it’s any of those, then guess what, I won’t follow them back. But when I do follow people back, I send them a personalized direct message reflecting that I actually took the time to view their profile and found something that I like – be it something in their Bio, Hobbies, blog, etc … this is key in building a relationship.
As for initiating the follows, I try to find people who are passionate about the same things I like. So I use TweetBeep which is an email Alert for Twitter that keeps track of conversations around subject that you’re interested in. You can actually save multiple tweet alerts and receive them in your inbox every hour (you define the intervals). In my inbox, I get an email every hours about Personal Branding – it’s a compilation of tweets about the subject (not limited to followers or the people I’m following). If I see a tweet that I like, I usually try to find out more about the person that sent it out and decide whether to follow them or not based on the aforementioned methodology. This is how I build a solid network.
She wants me to be fun. If you’re all business, you become boring. You do want to portray yourself as an expert by creating and sharing information about your field of interest, but you also want to be seen as a person who enjoys all aspect of life – family, friends, sports, art, etc … Try to mix your tweets, between business and pleasure – there’s no right and wrong in this, it’s up to you! Personally, I don’t think about it, I just do it – just be real!
Twitter & I are celebrating our 3 months anniversary next week. You’re all welcome to join the party. Think About It!