That being said, as an active user of Twitter since October 2008, I have made mistakes, learned from them, learned from other people’s mistakes, and learned from some of the best.
Everyday I see both new and old users of Twitter misuse this great tool. It frustrates me but then I realize that most likely no one told them how.
There are variations of Twitter use and I have certain pet peeves that might be OK for someone else but not me. The three areas in this post are the basics to get you moving in Twitter successfully.
Key ways you can experience greater success with Twitter:
Conversation, Interaction, and Community
If you think that all you will use Twitter for is to push out your blog posts or market your product, you will quickly fail on Twitter. You need to be willing to sound conversational as you set your status.
For example, I just posted this: “Good morning! Weather report from Wisconsin – no snow, 30 degrees, for the hunters, deer hunting begins tomorrow. Be safe!”
Within minutes, Christine Livingston replied: “@JulieWalraven Brrrr. Cold one, Julie. Hope it’s a good one. And good morning :)”
I posted the snow info because yesterday I was having a conversation with Gini Dietrich about whether we had snow yet. As trivial as weather tweets may seem, it is common ground that many people can relate to.
Note: Christine replied using my name in the tweet. Since some people don’t use their names as their Twitter handle like Christine, Gini, and I do, it is especially nice to look up their name and include it in a tweet. (Hint: names are found by going to the Twitter profile page.)
While I am writing this post, I have had an amusing conversation about dogs who snore with Gee Backhouse who even taught me new words today: “@JulieWalraven to snore, in French, is ronfler … to me it seems thoroughly onomatopoeic … especially when our little dog snores!”
For those who were as clueless as I was: “onomatopoeic” or “onomatopoetic”) is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Onomatopoeia (as an uncountable noun) refers to the property of such words. Common occurrences of onomatopoeias include animal noises, such as “oink” or “meow” or “roar”.
You start interactions with common ground. Gee and I both have dogs. But we are getting to know one another and building an understanding of each other while having fun at the same time.
The longer you use Twitter the more community you will build, IF you follow the suggestions above. If you are broadcasting all day, you found the wrong media and it will not work for you. I made many friends and built relationships using Twitter but only because I made it conversational and interactive from the start.
I met Christine, Gini, and Gee all on Twitter and through their blogs. Christine is in the UK, Gini is in Chicago, and Gee is in France. National and international community building starts with a Tweet.
A little more info about these three connections:
- Christine Livingston, who has connected with this blog before describes herself: “So, who am I really? In truth, I’m a maverick. Yes, I’ve been an HR Director with a Fortune 500 corporate, I’ve done Consulting with a world leading change firm, I’m a Coach and a Psychotherapist – and now I’ve added writing to my portfolio.”
- Gini Dietrich is the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a digital world.
- Gee Backhouse describes her journey: I became a goldsmith by deciding to live a life of adventure; to risk the safely familiar in favour being involved in something that inspired me.
I don’t connect with everyone on Twitter. Some I choose to connect with immediately because they start a conversation with me and I find them interesting. Or sometimes I know someone from another stream or list that I am reading and it will be a natural connection.
To decide if I will connect, I check out Twitter streams and see what they tweet about. If they follow my conversation and interaction kind of tweeting, I connect. If they only push out blog posts, RT excessively, or worse look like a robot, I will not add them to my Twitter community.
Could you use Twitter in a job search? Of course! You can use these basic principles because they work for anyone who desires to be successful with social media in general and Twitter in particular.
The best way to get me to connect with you on Twitter? Talk to me! I love to have you retweet my posts, but I want to know that you are a person and I want to see if we have common ground.
I used to end all my blog posts with “Talk to me, I talk back” – it works on Twitter too!