You have a Twitter account! (And a blog, too!) Wow! Very cool.
Welcome to Twitterville. You'll find it a welcoming community. Already 1,298 members of this community have introduced themselves to you by being your follower.
That number, 1,298 followers, is a meaningful metric for Twitter as a resource and a welcoming community. You've been on Twitter for one day and 1,298 members have said Hi. Nice to meet you. My name is...
Your 6 tweets to-date that generated 1298 followers as of 1:08 PM Central, August 19, 2009 points to your potential influence in the community.
You’ll find quickly that the twitizens (you’ll get used to this nomenclature habit on Twitter) are passionate, helpful, quick to respond and seemingly on top of all events at all time..instantly. All you have to do is ask.
And, at the same time, twitizens are passionate, quick to respond and on top of all events...instantly and will share their displeasure, passionately and quickly and instantly.
Let’s say you make a mistake on Twitter; you goof up. Don’t worry; everyone has. Learn from the feedback. Accept responsibility. Acknowledge the mistake and what you’ve learned. And move forward. You'll find the loyalty of your followers increases, instantly.
The best friends are those that support you. And the true friends are those that confront you. You’ll find both, together, in large numbers on Twitter.
I’m not an expert on Twitter. As my Twitter profile says I’m learning as I go and happy to share what I know. On that point, here’s what I’ve learned so far about Twitter and its use.
1). It’s not about you. Well, not all the time. Sometimes. For average folks, there’s the 80/20 rule. 80% of your Tweets should be about someone else; 20% of your Tweets can be about you.
You, on the other hand, are not an average folk. I’d say use a percentage of 50/50. 50% of your Tweets about others; 50% of your Tweets about you.
That’s what communication is about it, isn’t it? Talking and listening? Tweeting and Retweeting would be the terms for Twitter.
2). Listen. I know you have a lot of important things to share with us. And Twitterville has already said by the numbers of followers to the numbers of your tweets, that we want to hear them.
However, there are many knowledgeable experts on Twitter who will volunteer time and resources to help you in your goals. That would mean decisions that reflect a broader consensus from a broader range of data and opinions from users effected by your decisions. Data is as important as perspective. And with Twitter, you’ll have instant access to much and many of both.
A. Follow people. To listen on Twitter, you have to follow others. I know you are new to Twitter. But a profile that shows 1298 followers while you follow no one shows...you are not listening. Nor interested in listening. We all know that is not the case.
B. Use # or hashtags. Conversation threads are tagged with # and then a phrase. Like #FCC or #healthcare. Use the search box in Twitter as you would with Google. Insert the hashtag phrase, hit return and presto a stream of tweets with that phrase included. BAM! A wealth of data and opinions on a particular topic.
3). Be Courteous.
A. Follow those who follow you. Ok, maybe not everyone. But I project that 50% of your followers are people you should follow and listen to on Twitter. Follow them.
B. Reply when people DM you or mention you in their tweets.
C. Be polite in your responses. Ok, this is one where I’m inconsistent. But I’m better now than a year ago.
D. Be Accountable. It’s unpleasant. No one likes to be called up, especially in front of a global community.
But, it makes you a better person. And it is inspiring when more from the federal government accept accountability.
4. Join the Conversation. Hint: It's a dialogue.
A. Say hi to those you follow.
B. Join the conversations you find using the Hashtag function.
C. Retweet what others say. I’m happy to show you one way. But, you’ll see how it’s done.
D. Allow DMs or direct messages to you. How cool can it be to interact directly with the FCC? It’s very cool. And that means more people will trust you, your message, your purpose. Why? Because you allowed them a connection with you through the DM function. And now they’re part of your message.
5. Learn from Others.
Here are a few people I think you should follow on Twitter:
- Chris Brogan
- Jeremiah Owyang
- Guy Kawasaki
- BusinessDotGov (They're your counterpart in the SBA)
- Dave Winer
- Shel Israel
- Shel Holtz
- Ace Concierge She's amazing in how much work and how much Tweeting she gets done everyday. Her numbers are legion. So when you make a decision about broadband, there's a key demographic.
- Jeff Pulver
- Krishna De She’s from Ireland. That’s another cool part of Twitter. You can communicate with the entire world. And your decisions on bandwidth effect the whole world.
6. Relax and have fun. Make sure you tweet some fun stuff. Life is stressful enough these days. Use your platform and Twitter to bring a smile to people.
This is a start to our conversation. This is but a start. Pick one of these steps and try it. You will be on Twitter for a long time. Others will pipe in and offer more details on these or more tips. Listen to them. Thank them.
DM me if I can help.
All the best,