To be a resounding success in Twitter you only have to remember one thing: help your fellow tweeter to succeed. This means you’ve got to stop obsessing about your own posts and the products that you sell.
Okay. Let’s go over that once again. Helpfulness is an irresistible force that can get you places in Twitter. Being helpful in Twitter means you -
- Stop talking about yourself. Of course, you know you’re a Diva, a genius, a handsome dude or OMG cute. Tell you what – unless you’re Nicole Kidman the world will not be impressed. That’s boring.
- Stop tweeting your own links. Okay, maybe 5% of your tweets is fine. Anything beyond that is boring. Take my word for it.
- Stop the negativity. Sure, you’re much put upon in the office. You’ve been passed up for promotion. Your prick of a boyfriend stood you up. Or perhaps your mother-in-law is threatening to visit your household again. Go seek a therapist. Tweeting about this is boring – unless of course you’re Jerry Seinfeld.
Okay, that’s how not to tweet. Let’s talk about what you can do.
The value of retweeting or RT
What is a retweet? A retweet is a tweet you rebroadcast because you find it helpful, amusing, valuable. A retweet can be a link to an awesome resource, an intriguing blog post, a funny tweet that makes your day or a tweet asking for help.
You do that by copying the tweet in question and placing an RT before it. Or you can do it by copying the tweet and adding “via @username” in it. Crediting the person who first published the tweet is important. You don’t want to be accused of stealing his thunder, do you?
Retweeting is an art form unto itself. It signals you’re big enough to find value in your fellow tweeters. By retweeting, you’re helping the person who first posted the tweet. If it’s a tutorial post on how to use Friendfeed you’d be helping that blogger get readers. Secondly, you’d be helping those who are searching for that kind of information. Double ka – pow!
Retweeting is paying it forward
If you develop promoting other people as a habit you will be surprised to find your friends and even strangers promoting your posts. That’s my personal experience. I turn on the desktop at work and wallah! - a number of people have already retweeted my posts without me begging them to do so. It has come to a point I don’t even have to toot my own horn. My friends and new online friends are doing it for me.
People in Twitter are not stupid. They are scanning your time line of tweets. If they see you’re helpful by tweeting other people’s content, they’d be interested to know you and perhaps follow you. You’re a Boy Scout after all. If on the other hand, they read that you tweet nothing but your own stuff? You’re done for – you’ve just lost a potential friend or follower.
The value of conversation.
Be careful of too much retweeting though and too much posting of links. That’s attractive to a lot of people, but not to all of them. A majority of tweeters are on board because of the conversation. I’m on Twitter to hear another human voice. True, in real life I’m an introvert, but in Twitter I’m a conversation maniac. I love engaging in conversations with people from every imaginable place on Earth.
The only caveat is to be courteous and helpful.
If you’re stressed out and angry? Stop. Go to your backyard and chop some wood. That’s better than venting in Twitter. In Twitter, you can be simultaneously helpful and still have fun. Fun can mean anything: being playful and sharing tasteful jokes. If you think your joke might offend someone, ditch the joke. Reserve your bawdy anecdote to your real friends in direct message where only you and your gang can chuckle over it. Keep your tweets funny but clean. And cut out any unnecessary drama.
If you’re truly sincere and nothing but yourself on Twitter you are not boring. People will find you as charming, unique, and a great buddy to be with.
The thing about boring
In real life, you meet a new person. How do you strike a conversation with him? What do you say after you say hello? Do you spout Shakespeare’s sonnets? Do you put on airs and quote Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde? Do you cite statistics you’ve read in the Wall Street Journal? Nah. Because that’s horrible. You’re not a pompous ass.
Just be your normal self in Twitter. Cut the pose and let us take a peek in your personal life in 140-character. Conversations in Twitter between and among friends need not be accompanied with music swelling in the background; with lightning and thunder punching your every pronouncement. You’re just in the global living room so cut the crap.
Take this common sense tack in Twitter and you can’t go wrong. And remember to be always helpful and courteous.
Jedi bloggers and other princes of tweets
Here’s a list of my friends who are cool, generous retweet artists on top of being engaging conversationalist. Feel free to follow them. They’re worth their tweets in gold. Did I forget to include you? Leave a comment and I’d be happy to add you to the list – if the Jedi council has no objection.
- Jena – @JenaIsle
- Roy – @houseofpuroy
- Doc Z – @zorlone
- Jan – @jan_geronimo
- Luke – @dezertsnow
- Elmot – @elmot
- Jaypee – @jaypee
- Dee – @trendydee
- Novz – @ceblogger
- Yatot – @yatotchronicles
- Jed – @jedchan
- Rob – @robangeles
- Ditesco – @ditesco
- Rocky – @theweblogzone
- Jehz – @jehzlau
- Rey – @ryjr
- Brag – @enhenyero
- Fedhz – @babyfuzz
- Mizdi – @mizdi
- Nobe – @iagosmom
- Badong – @badongskie
- Marhgil – @marhgil
- George – @GeorgeAngus
- David – @bloggerdad
- Sean – @writerdad
- Brad – @bradshorr
- Justin – @dragonblogger
- Joanna – @joannayoung
- Dan – @timecommander
- Holly – @hollyjahangiri
- Andy – @andysmailes
- Barbara – @BSwafford
- Chris – @crisiboy
- Ever – @pamatayhomesick
- Reena @archreena
Incidentally, I just checked my Google Analytics and I found out in my traffic sources that referring sites accounted for 69.5% of my traffic. Guess what – Twitter is my number one referrer. TwitterGadget, another Twitter app, is number 5, and Plurk which I hardly touch these days is number 10.
Social media rules!
Okay, I know my stats are puny compared to big blogs, but hey, I can live with that. It just means I have to redouble my efforts at my blog and keep on maintaining a good presence in Twitter.
Here is Ditesco’s comprehensive 7 free PDF guides on Twitter to help you acquire Twitter smarts.
Do you find Twitter helpful to your blog? Share with us your master plan on how best to become a prince or princess in Twitter. What do you think?
Photos by Matt HammIf you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!