When I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress last summer I mistakenly assumed that all posts would seamlessly transfer. I have since found the error in my thinking and have decided to re-post some of my more discussed posts. This post first appeared in May of 2011 but still rings true to me.
I have read so many posts on how to get on Twitter and get connected, many of them offer fantastic advice and yet some of them keep reiterating how it is all about following. Follow one person, and then see who they follow, and then follow them, and soon you will be following so many people you will feel like the most popular kid in the school. Except you don’t. Instead you feel like the kid who came to prom only to take pictures of all the cool people there. So I offer up these tips instead for those trying to figure out Twitter.
- Follow one person, or even 10 but then stop. Let yourself process what Twitter is and how these people are using the tool. Don’t mass follow, you will find enough people to follow, just take your time.
- Connect. Once you have a couple of people you follow, reach out to them. Tell them you are new, tell them your story, and comment on their blogs. Open up about yourself, start a conversation, and give them a reason to connect back.
- Don’t give up. Sometimes I felt like the biggest loser when it came to Twitter; no one thought I was witty, no one rt’ed my posts, until I realized that this is not what Twitter is about. Twitter is about the connections (I know, I sound like a broken record) so it is not about the retweets or single comments but the dialogue you get involved in and the people you meet.
- Who cares about Klout? I didn’t realize I had a klout number until my husband asked me what it was. Then I had to look it up because that little number meant nothing to me; it still doesn’t. If you are asking whether Twitter is worth your time you probably haven’t connected with the right people, so keep connecting.
- Don’t worry about the popular kids. One thing for ongoing discussion has been the grades of popularity Twitter educators seem to have. Sure there are people with massive followings, but guess what? They are normal people and they probably have that many followers because they say some really great things and they are good at connecting with others. It is okay to reach out to them as well, no one is off limits.
- Make it work for you. Twitter is what Twitter does. I constantly use Twitter in new ways that work for me. For Twitter to truly become a useful tool for you, it has to fit your needs. There is no wrong or right way to use it (although there may be better or worse ways).
So there you have it, my small piece of advice on how to get something out of Twitter. Of course, you can follow as many people as you want, but think about what your true goal is: numbers or connections? I, for one, count my connections just as much as I count my blessings.