Tuesday, May 8, 2012

All You Need To Know About Twitter You Learned In Kindergarten

Socia's been lurking on Twitter
Socia is here again with a very important message about building relationships on Twitter. And believe it or not she says we already have the tools! 

Everything you need to know about building relationships on Twitter, you learned in kindergarten. I'm sure most of you have heard the Robert Fulghum poem, if not you can find it here. 

No way, you say? Twitter didn't exist when I was in kindergarten. True. But the concepts you need to employ, for a successful Twitter experience, were. There are actually 18, we will cover 9 today and another 9 next Tuesday.

But, first.

Know your niche. Find your niche. How interested in the latest recipe for fish tacos would a group of people be that are discussing which quarterback just got traded? Not so much. We will be talking more about this in later posts. 
1. Share Everything: The first thing a child wants to do when he learns something interesting is to share it with someone else. They aren't worried about keeping the knowledge to themselves. The Retweet on Twitter is where we can share things we learn, enjoy and are entertained by. If you like it, retweet it!

2. Play Fair:  Don't hide behind a mask on your profile. Twitter isn't like chat. Use the name you want people to identify with you. And always use a real picture, not your book cover or company logo. People can't connect with a cartoon avatar or book cover. If you're serious about building relationships you have to be willing to put your face out there. 

3. Don't hit people: Your tooling along the Twitter feed and all of a sudden a tweet all in CAPS JUMPS OUT. Ouch! It's like having your mother yell at you. Or how about when someone uses 40 or their 140 characters for exclamation points!!!!!!!!! Again, ouch. No one likes to be hit over the head with anything, even if it is a good idea. 

4. Put Things Back Where You Found Them: A common complaint of newbies to Twitter is how confusing watching the feed can be. How can anyone have any meaningful conversations? There are some great tools to help you do just that. One of my first discoveries was Tweetdeck which helped me organize columns so I could watch conversations about particular subjects. Twitter also has lists that allow you to organize the people you’re following into groups. For example: You can have a group that consists of all the writers you follow. The benefit? Time Management. [Check out Kim Garst's article]

5. Clean Up Your Own Mess:  Take a good long look at all the tweets you have made as a whole. What kind of picture have you created about yourself? If you don't like what you see, perhaps you need to evaluate why your tweeting and what your goal is. What about your profile, does it tell people who you are and why you do what you do? It is important to tell your readers why they should care. Fix that fast!

6. Don't Take Things That Aren't Yours:  If you're going to quote someone or copy a passage from a blog or article, make sure you attribute where you got it. Offer the link to your followers so they can find the source. It's just bad manners and unprofessional to highjack someones idea and present it as your own. 

7. Say Your Sorry When You Hurt Somebody: Inevitably, someone may disagree with one of your tweets or even be hurt by it. Don't just ignore these great opportunities to engage in a dialogue. Respond in a positive manner and encourage the conversation. Some of my best clients when I was in sales were the ones that started off on the wrong foot. Why? Because I went out of my way to understand their point of view. This is when your ego needs to be checked at the door. Be open, willing to ask questions and most of all learn.

8.Wash Your Hands Before You Eat:  Never send a tweet without reviewing it first. Now, all of us make boo-boos every once in a while and a few can be forgiven. Carelessly typed tweets are a quick way to lose followers either because they're irritated or don't know what your saying. Clean up those tweets make them as concise and clear as possible. Use punctuation. Tweeting isn't texting. It's micro-blogging and the idea is to get your idea through to as many people as possible. 

9. Flush: Listen carefully... You don't have to follow everybody that follows you. Don't waste time following someone you wouldn't be interested in having coffee with. There are three reasons to follow someone: 1. You can learn something. 2. The reason they are tweeting resonates with you. 3. You are interested or entertained by their content. 

Wow! Those were some great ideas Socia. We look forward to the other nine concepts on next Tuesday. 
Please feel free to ask Socia any questions you have and she will answer them on the last Tuesday of the month for the Social Media QA session. 

In the meantime, here are some additional links that Socia Malaise found helpful:

Twitter Profile Mistakes That Writers Should Avoid
How To Embed Tweets In Your Blog
Building The Best Twitter Lists
How To Build Relationships On Twitter
Twitter For Authors


  1. That's a great list. I've been a little hesitant about the whole twitter thing. Seems like a lot of work. Maybe if I had a smart phone and could do it on the go, it would be easier.

  2. Excellent tips! I really like Twitter but I've been absent lately.

  3. Thanks for the great tips. I'm going to save them.


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