I left them blank to illustrate a point.
How many times have we seen a post titled: TOP 5 USES for TWITTER...or some such list. And we scramble to quickly self-assess and add a to-do item to start doing...number 5 on that list. Ok. I have. Twitter's powerful and how doesn't want the results described along with that list of quick and easy steps...
That's the point.
The top 5 ways to use Twitter don't come from me. My list of ways I use Twitter is precious and wonderful for me, sure. But ultimately irrelevant in this conversation.
The top 5 ways to use Twitter don't come from another post published by another social media expert, maven or guru, agency or firm.
They never have.
The top 5 ways come from...you.
What are your top 5 ways that you use twitter...*?
That is the power of a resource like Twitter or blogs or posterous or tumblr or flickr...You can discover and develop YOUR top 5 ways of using...Twitter. We can do this together. That has been the power of social media from the beginning.
You remember 3-4 years ago when there were no social media experts or agencies? 3-4 years ago before everyone and their mother and their mother's mother heard that list posts were a great way to generate traffic. Not ideas. Not conversations. Not discoveries.
Be like everyone else and follow these 10 steps on social media and presto!
Presto, you're just like everyone else. True confession: I bought into it. It seemed an effective way to learn and help others. Then one day the lists seemed rote, redundant, repititive...and pretty soon everybody was doing it. Like AutoDms on Twitter to new followers. (Ok, I never did that.)
The power of social media has always arisen from this:
We, anyone, can use them, explore them, master them, make a mistake or two with them, at our pace. As we decide. That individuality, that freedom to explore and learn and fail and succeed as decide has always been the viral power of social media.
What was missing...back in the day...were experts or institutions assigning one way and enforced with bored and tired rules, which they administered. There were no standardized tests. No rules. No policies. Like kids we joined this playground and learned and fell down and got back up by ourselves or with others who helped.
See what's missing? No experts.
Like kids in a playground we all played together. Sure, our skills are ours alone. We mastered them: running or climbing or organizing a game or talking quietly off to the side or watching a butterfly or running out in the field by ourselves or competing or cooperating. We learned together. Together we all watched and learned and experimented and became masters ...together.
The power of social media is the power to run around on a playground on our legs as fast as we want in the direction we want. As often as we want. As fast as we want. And...with whom we want.
To say this in marketing vernacular we have the freedom to speak in our own voices. To share and showcase our own voices. As a marketing media there is no message more powerful than that of unique. Sure, you can browbeat people, you can bury them with an onslought of paid media. And as soon as that onslaught stops so does your message stop being shared.
We call someone a leader when they create something that does not yet exist. Or when she significantly improves something that already exists. And this comes from original thinking, not copying.
By copying behavior you can become an expert at something. But you cannot become a leader.
Back to the title. Fill in those blanks. What are YOUR top 5 ways of using Twitter? Or Posterous or your blog or Tumblr or YouTube or Google Reader or Google +. Find those. Use them. Speak in your own voice. You'll be heard. You'll hear others. Like on a playground. You will lead others on your, collective you, playground. And likewise you can be a co-leader on someone else's.
And what a playground it became with no one volunteering to be adults and no one claiming....they are an expert. Then we are all leaders and together we are co-leaders.