Learnings of a Newbie Tweeter

Twitter Bird With BookTomorrow I have an appointment with friends to share with them a few things I’ve learned about Twitter.  I don’t pretend to be an expert.  In fact, I’m still a newbie myself.   But in the last few weeks I’ve been reading several books about Twitter and spending considerable time building my following, so I’ll share some of what I’ve learned:

  • First, the beauty of Twitter is its brevity.  You can quickly scan your tweet stream and decide which messages to ignore and which to explore.  No other social networking tool is as fast to use, as a poster or reader.
  • You can use Twitter for whatever you like, as long as you can keep your messages to 140 characters.  You can use it to tell friends what you had for breakfast, or you can use it to point business colleagues to a valuable resource (via a link), or notify them in the blink of an eye of a change in plans.
  • Blogging and tweeting are made for each other.  Blog posts give you fresh content to share with your Twitter followers.  Potential followers on Twitter are looking for fresh, helpful, informative, and entertaining content.  Blogging is the easiest way to publish that content.  Tweeting to announce your new blog posts will bring more visitors to your blog.  Thus, blogging will help grow your Twitter following, and Tweeting about what you blog will help grow your blog’s following
  • Tweeting is a super way to find people and information on purpose, but it’s also a great way to discover serendipity stuff.  I have found that Tweeting stretches the boundaries of my understanding and my taste.
  • As your following grows the quantity of tweets in your stream will be overwhelming unless you organize your Twitter friends into lists.  You may choose to read some of your lists more frequently than others.  You can keep the members of your lists private, or share them with the public.  Sharing them helps new Tweeters to find other Tweeters who are interested in the same things.
  • Acting kindly and generously, as when you offer your follower lists to others and retweet their messages, often brings kindness in return, as when grateful friends tweet your twitter address. This tends to bring you more followers.
  • Staying active in the Twitter community is important.  Because of the deluge of messages in the system, if you tweet only infrequently there is less chance that your messages will be read because  they will get buried in the stack.  So, if you want to get noticed and develop deeper relationships with your followers, tweet often.  Then at least some of what you tweet will get noticed.
  • There are differences of opinion about which social medium is most helpful for selling a product or promoting a cause.  Some experts prefer Facebook because of its huge membership.  But many other telemarketers prefer Twitter.  I side with them.  I find that the simplicity of Twitter, combined with a host of often free follower management tools, makes Twitter faster to use and more strategic.  Granted, when you first join Twitter, how to gain followers is not nearly as apparent as on Facebook!  But the Facebook interface is visually and functionally complicated, and gets progressively more so as Facebook adds new features to keep up with the competition.
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