What is Twitter?

What is Twitter Anyway

Psst…have you heard…Twitter is all the rage!…it is the newest way to network…you should check it out.  All the cool kids are doing it… :-)

That jumbled mess is 140 characters in length.   Twitter is one of the many social media platforms that are changing the landscape of the internet.  One is able to ‘micro blog’ in 140 character blasts.  That is all you get little buckaroo.  You may think it is a complete waste of time, you may be right.  Of course, you may be sadly mistaken.

Oh don’t get me wrong, mocking those who obsess over social media platforms like Twitter is good sport.  It is almost as much fun, as it once was, to tease those who used that silly thing called the internet, or who sent letters electronically with that weird email stuff.  I for one believe the internet is a fad.  I mean really? Why anyone would use electronic mail, when it is so easy just to drop a letter in the old mail box, is beyond me.  And the US Post Office is so incredibly efficient.  It will never catch on.

Why Use Twitter To Build Business

Penny Jar by Brian Meeks

Now it is a brave new world; a savvy business person will consider their potential market to be much larger than the old neighborhood.  The market is truly global.  As an example, just earlier today, I was on Twitter when I received a tweet about a new blog post which had been just posted.  I read the post and found out about a great site for buying thin bits of exotic lumber.  I love woodworking!  Delswoodcraft is in Denver Colorado, and I am in a tiny house in Martelle Iowa.  I would not have found them, were it not for Twitter.  I will be buying lots of stuff from their site, because their prices are exceptional.

It is possible that the light bulb may have just gone off?  Though it is also possible that it hasn’t, maybe you don’t sell lumber.  Maybe you don’t sell anything.  Twitter isn’t just about networking for business.  People share hobbies and interests and generally like to hang out.  So sometimes it is just about meeting someone new.

Let’s just say, hypothetically, that you are the tiniest bit interested in trying Twitter now.  Nobody needs to know, I won’t tell.  You have even gotten brave enough to jot down a possible twitter name.  Once you get set up, you will need to find some people to follow and some to follow you.  Again, it is about building a network, for business or fun.

Building a Twitter Follower Network

There are definitely some best and worst practices.  It takes time and energy to build a network of reasonable size.  Of course, the larger your network is, the more you are able to benefit.  There are lots of people out there who have amassed large numbers of followers, but many of those followers are junk.  They are people who are not listening to the ‘Master Twitter Guru’.

You want to build relationships.  You want people to follow you who are engaging, will carry on conversations, and will help you build a strong network.

  1. Do ReTweet: You will see RT often.  This stands for Re Tweet.  It simply means that someone has tweeted something which another person has Re Tweeted.  If you have a new product out and you tweet a link to a wonderful picture of it, it would be delightful if a few people would RT it and spread the word even further.  So it is also a good idea, if you see something you like, to RT it for your new friends.  This is a big Do!
  2. Don’t put in your Bio “Follow Me and I will Follow Back”: This is how one builds thousands of junk followers, who don’t care about you, your product, your hobby, your life.  They won’t talk with you, or build a relationship.  They will fill your twitter stream with garbage and make you want to bang your head against a goat.
  3. Do, on occasion, ask for your Twitter friends help: If not done too frequently, it is quite acceptable to send a DM (Direct Message) to a twitter friend, and asking them if they would mind checking out your new blog post and tweeting it.  In moderation this is fine.
  4. Don’t Follow every single person who follows you: There are many people out there who have bots that follow people if a key word is used.  If you tweet “I just had a great round of golf, shot 3 strokes better than last time.”  You will likely get several golf people who follow you.  Look at their page and see if they have lots of Followers but are only ‘Listed’ a few times, they might be a spammer. (As a general rule, I won’t follow anyone who has a number of listed below 5% of their followers.)
  5. Don’t beg for RT’s: Some people, usually one’s who were not loved by their parents and were spat on by the homecoming queen, will always start a tweet with “Please RT:  My new blog post, Top 10 Reasons I Cry Myself to Sleep” Truth be told, If I saw the begging in their stream, I wouldn’t have followed them in the first place.  I would have likely just blocked them straight away.  If they had really followers, their friends would RT anyway and there wouldn’t be any reason to beg.

So there are some ideas for getting started on Twitter.  It takes a lot of work, but one can build up a great network.  As a bonus, here is one more tip, don’t follow anyone who has anything about MLM in their Bio, for they will hound you like a Hare Krishna at the airport.  That should get you going.  Happy Tweeting.

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