Twitter~ Today is Twitter’s 5th birthday! Awww, Happy birthday little guy. This explains why I was so late to the Twitter game. Silly me, I was too busy trying to figure out this growing and giving birth to babies business to try and figure out Twitter too.I don’t think I made it to the party until late 2009, early 2010. But let’s be honest,probably like most of you, I got to the party and felt like I was on Mars. It was completely foreign to me. Facebook, I got. Facebook was, you know, a way to check in on old friends to see how fat they got and to spy on ex boyfriends to see how fat my replacement was. I’m pretty social,I can chit chat with anyone ….I know. Hell, take me to a in real life party and I’m the one flitting from person to person, saying hi and giving kisses..real ones, not those fake air ones. But Twitter was 140 characters out into the abyss. I didn’t know ANYONE in real life who was on Twitter, except for my 16 year old cousin who already told me that she was going to the mall and taking a poop via her Facebook status. I always thought to myself, thanks for alerting the world and any potential kidnappers to your whereabouts. SO,I got to Twitter and I tweeted a couple tweets and it was like throwing a pebble into a cave…crickets chirping. Of course, I had no followers and I followed….Oprah. That.Was. it! Long story short, It took me about 6 months to take another go at it and figure out what I was doing.I’m here to help you not hear those same damn Twitter crickets. This is a great piece in conjunction with How to Build a Mommy Blog Without Blowing Up the Joint or Alienating TOO many People. I’m giving you the tools to optimize your Twitter experience.
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- Open a Twitter account.Come on everybody’s doing it. Now, when you do this, choose your @name carefully, this is what the good people of Twitter will know you by.This is your handle.If you have a blog, I suggest using your blog name or pen name.Mine is @TruthfulMommy, in case you were wondering. I know you were. Choose a name that makes it easy for your blog followers to find you on Twitter. I don’t recommend choosing a kitschy name like @HarryBalls because it will not likely attract potential followers but will have a high yield return on porn spammers.Of course, if that’s what you’re into.Go on with your bad self @HarryBalls!
- Also,DON’T put your actual address on Twitter,as anyone can see it.Unless of course you LIKE to have stalkers, then I say..go for it.
- For the love of GOD, please upload a picture. I beg of you.NOBODY wants to follow, answer tweets, be followed by an “EGG” (this is the universally generic code for, I have no photo because I am a shady character of some sort) avatar.Don’t do it!I can’t stress this enough. This is a way to alienate people on Twitter.
- Add something to your profile to tell us a little about yourself. This is your introduction to the party.Don’t stand there and be silent.When others are searching for people to follow, this small bio is all they have to go on. I must admit, I don’t follow people back if they have no bio. That’s like walking up to a complete stranger, who may or may not be friendly.I just move on to the next person.
- Once you have your name, time to dip your toe in the Twitter waters. My suggestion is to start by following some of your favorite bloggers. You most likely already like them to some degree, if you read their blog. So, start there. It’s a great way to get to know them on a deeper, more spiritual level. Nah, not spiritual but definitely deeper. You will get to know them as a person. People tweet a lot more often than they blog. It’s a fact.
- Just because you follow 757,000 celebrities, don’t expect them to follow you back or tweet with you.It is as bad as crickets. Are you a celebrity that knows these people in real life? If so, go for it. Their Twitter accounts are a great source for knowing their business but not for making friends or networking. If you want tweeting relationships, follow real people.
Twitter, I Heart You So
- After you’ve secured some people that you follow, you will see their tweets. *Tweets, in case you don’t already know, are short 140 character messages that allow people to say something..anything….everything.
- Next, this is crucial, say something ;ENGAGE your Twitter followers. Come on! Don’t be shy. They say something that you find funny, interesting, relate-able, whatever the case may be, comment. Just be yourself and be real. Nobody likes a phony baloney.Believe me, no one wants to hear those damn twitter crickets..unless of course they ARE @Oprah who has 5,395,627 followersand tweets once every other week. She’s busy, normally that’s not the case. Most people tweet because they want someone to tweet back.You tweet , they will tweet back and likely..you will have earned your first Twitter follower.
- Do NOT constantly tweet at one particular person,unless it’s your Mama and even then, don’t do it.This is not to say that you should comment on every single thing something one particular person says, unless you’ve already developed some sort of rapport, unless you want to find yourself blocked as a Twitter stalker. The only exception is celebrities, and this is only the case because they are most likely NOT responding to most tweets. Plus, they are used to dealing with paparazzi so a little twitter stalker is probably harmless in comparison.
- Think about why you are tweeting and who you want your audience to be.You’ve got your account, name, and photo. You are following some real people. Interacting.Engaging. You have earned some followers. Now, it’s time to get your Twitter frame of mind on. Why are you tweeting? Friends? Networking for business? Spying on celebrities? Once you make this decision, then you might start to look for either like minded folks or people in the industry that you are trying to network. Believe me.I have thoroughly convinced myself that Twitter was made for 30 something and up Mommies and Daddies to get advice, gossip, make friends and network. THAT is my Twitterverse.Now, pretend you are at a party and make the rounds. Jump in and say hello. Introduce yourself. Don’t be afraid to shine. They don’t know that you are sitting there in your PJs. Start a conversation, say something controversial, ask for advice, compliment someone.This is how you get started on using and growing your twitter acquaintances. Remember, if you don’t speak up..no one even knows you’re there.
- After you get the hang of this, the possibilities are limitless. I have met fabulous people who I would NEVER have met if left to my limited geographical devices. I have learned a lot from some great people.I’ve made great friendships.I’ve networked myself into the good graces of some wonderful opportunities that would otherwise have not existed if I hadn’t joined Twitter. DO it. Don’t be afraid.It’s only awkward for a minute. I promise. And you can always follow @TruthfulMommy and I’ll walk you through it:)
- Be aware of the conversation.If you butt into a conversation, which we all do on Twitter, be sure to know what was being said before you got there or at least have some idea of the context. It can be embarrassing if not and some people REALLY don’t like it.
- NO AUTO DMS! They should be OUTLAWED. They are rude and everybody hates them. Even the sick bastards who use them..HATE THEM!
- Use DM if nature of tweet is private.If you have something personal or sensitive to say to someone, DM them.DO NOT tweet it. My husband is a newbie and guilty of this.THANK GOD I have his password and can delete before he embarrasses me to badly:)
- Don’t over tweet your posts or keep saying the same thing over and over again.You will bore people and they will leave.It’s not about tweeting often, it’s about having something to say in your tweets.If not, don’t expect a load of tweets back.It is perfectly acceptable to use your Twitter to promote your posts and yourself, just be aware of your time frame.No one wants just YOU ambushing their tread.
- Don’t get all crazy if someone doesn’t tweet back on something you tweet.Some people have huge treads and can’t possibly read every tweet. And some people, myself included, leave Twitter open…even when away from computer. So, I may not actually be on twitter. I know, it’s crazy but sometimes I actually have to leave the house and play with the kids, clean the house, buy groceries, rule the world.
- Retweet what you think is worthy.If you read a funny, interesting tweet that someone else wrote or feel their tweet contained a piece of information, post, or message that needs to be shared, retweet(RT) it . They will appreciate it and so might your followers. But be aware, you may have followers who you know nothing about and a simple RT can be grounds for a Twitter attack and subsequent Divorce. We mustn’t forget the Justin Bieber situation?
- Don’t be a numbers whore. I know we all get excited about getting a lot of followers. It’s about quality of Twitter relationships not quantity. I myself am guilty of this. I Love having loads of tweeps ( Twitter peeps) to engage and interact with so I’ve gotten a little crazy on numbers before. I’m sure most of you remember New Years Eve of 2010, when I gained almost 100 followers in a matter of about 20 minutes with the help of my #wineparty friends. It was exciting and I love my #wineparty tweeps like nobody’s business, #Wineparty is hosted by @Blogdangerously every Friday night at 9 pm EST. You basically follow the hashtag (#, used to keep tweets on a particular topic together and easily found) and we all drink and tweet.Lots of fun and a great way to get to know people on Twitter.
- Beware of Twitter jail. I know that you think I am yanking your chain, but I assure you that I am NOT. I know this because I ,myself, have spent time in the Twitter joint. *GASP* I know, the gall. Apparently, if you have a big Twitter mouth ( as I do) and tweet more than 100 tweets in an hour, you will most certainly do not pass go and be put into Twitter jail. This means you lose all tweeting rights and capabilities for an hour.But , be not afraid young Twitter Jedis, you can still DM!FTW!! You just can not shut me up!
- Last but not least, Be your true authentic self and have fun.Don’t be a Twitter snob. If you’re not there to make friends or network, to engage, then you should probably stay away from the Twitter party.
Alright, this is my hard earned knowledge that I have to share today about Twitter.Happy Birthday Twitter!I’ll give you your present later. And now that you have the power, I hope you will all join me at the Twitter party and I look forward to tweeting with you and getting to know you better:) Happy Tweeting! And if you do follow me, say hi @TruthfulMommy on Twitter so I know you are there!