Twitter, despite all of it’s simplicity, is one of those things that tends to confuse me in regards to what to do with it. Most web applications exist to fill some role, whereas Twitter is a platform looking for a purpose, in my opinion.
Before I get into that, however, I’d like to remind you to take the membership benefit survey if you haven’t already. I’ve only had a few people respond so far, and I’d like at least 20 so I have a statistically significant sampling. Your answers help guide what I give you here on this site, so please take 30 seconds to tell me what you want more of:
Survey –> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CPF8B6R
Now, back to Twitter…
I think one of the things that makes Twitter even more confusing in terms of trying to figure out what to do with it has to do with the fact that it is not a single, chronological conversation. Twitter encompasses millions of simultaneous conversations, entries to which do not necessarily flow along a chronological timeline.
Twitter is an easy place to get lost in. Figuring out how to use it productively can be a challenge. On top of that, Twitter is a place where you can’t just be a marketer or a salesman — you have to be a human. You have to engage people in conversation, and participate in the ongoing conversations.
There are tons of web sites out there that tell you all kinds of things for doing business on Twitter, but honestly, I think most of the information out there is BAD information. Don’t fall for any auto-follower product claims, and don’t think you need to send 50 tweets per day to be heard – you don’t.
In a typical day, I probably send out two, maybe three tweets, usually tax tips, marketing tips, or links to articles I’ve written. I do quotes occasionally, and sometimes a weird rambling from the depths of my brain. In other words, my tweets are 140 characters of whatever randomness inspires me to tweet.
Now, Twitter is about connections, and connecting via conversations. You’ll come across people that you want to follow, and people will follow you, that’s how it works. I engage other people on Twitter simply by looking at the conversations people I follow are having. All I do is read through the first page of comments on my main Twitter page (yes, I use the web site, not a client application), and reply to anything that looks interesting. People do the same to my tweets, and that’s pretty much how that works.
For putting myself out there in other circles, I tend to participate in strange trending topics. I’m not talking about news items and that sort of thing, I mean the really dumb trending topics on Twitter such as “LetterToMyEx”, “ThingsNotToSay”, “GuysShouldAlways”, “YouBeAGigoloIf”, etc. Basically, people exchange one-liners on some theme. Most of them get kind of out of hand, but they’re usually hilarious. By participating in light-hearted fare like that, I am able to engage with people on Twitter in spheres outside of my normal ones.