Like most things I attempt to learn, I dived into the deep end of the Twitter pool and hoped I would start swimming. After swallowing a lot of water, I finally made it to the side of the pool, climbed out, coughed a while and dived back in.
I read very little before I started. I was put off by all the self proclaimed experts. I am certainly not an expert either, but others may be able to learn from my many mistakes and the few things I’ve learned so far. Whether you are a newbie or you have been using Twitter for a while, I would highly recommend reading the help and other documentation available from Twitter at twitter-basics.
When I started I had no idea how to get someone to follow me but, I knew if I was going to use social media to market anything, I needed someone to listen. I read somewhere, people will follow you if you follow them. For the first week or so, I was a following fool. I followed every one I could see. It’s easy to understand why this tactic seems successful to newbies. It works! I began getting lots of followers!
It wasn’t until I hit Twitter’s first following limit of 2000 that I realized I needed to be more selective about who I followed. Twitter keeps a tight lid on the formula for getting past this limit. Many believe it is a ratio of “followers to following” that is somewhere around 90%. In other words: You will need 2000 followers before you can follow 2200.
I needed to start dropping some of the people I followed that were not following me. Twitter didn’t seem to provide any method of identifying my non-followers, but after some research, I found tweepi. Tweepi is an essential part of managing my Twitter account now. The free version allows you to easily flush your “unfollowers”, follow your followers, and identify inactive followers. I don’t use the premium version yet, but I plan to. It has many more tools and features that will help me automate many tasks I am doing manually now.
I need to follow experts and well respected pundits of the subjects I want to write about. I need good sources from which to curate posts and tweets. I understand most of those sources won’t follow me and, if they did I would be a lost little voice among their thousands of followers.
I need followers because I want promote my blog. Hopefully through my blog and re-tweeting content interesting to my followers, I will gain credibility as authority in my field.
Ultimately, I want to earn a living. I want to design websites, support small business networks, and develop a residual revenue stream from advertising on my blog. I believe most tweeps have similar motives. However, there is a kinship that can form between people with like desires. Somewhat unexpectedly, I have begun a few fledgling relationships with fellow tweeters. Maybe for an old cynic like me, there is something “social” about Twitter after all. I hope so. That may turn out to be the most satisfying result from Tweeting.
I am still learning, and doing a lot of it the hard way too! I will write again soon to tell you more about my mistakes. In the mean time, I will be trying to learn as much as I can about using Twitter effectively. Please leave comments and suggestions. I can really use them! Oh yeah, I almost forgot; you can follow me on Twitter @tcledford.