Twitter: Challenge Accepted

I’ve been using Twitter for a very long time. A new thing I’m seeing people doing – just in the past few months – is welcoming and thanking new followers.

People have been doing this poorly with smarmy automated DMs forever, and I’ve always hated it. Now they are sending open @-messages to new followers – either en masse or one by one – and saying hello. When you look at these people’s profiles it just says @soandso Thank you for following. Over and over again.

Signal and noise, people, signal and noise. That’s not polite. It’s generating static.

While it’s always nice to say thank you, I find this sort of a disservice to the rest of my feed.  It can clog the airways, and make things seem disingenuous. I don’t thank new friends on Facebook for being my friend. I don’t thank new Linked In connections (unless it was really a stretch).

What I find a little more interesting and entertaining is to tell people what it was about their profile that made me follow them. It gets the introductions going. But I don’t do it with everyone, just intermittently. I also like to just start talking with them and getting to know who they are a little. I start using Twitter the way it’s meant to be used – to converse.

I posted a few weeks ago that I’ve been projecting my Twitter growth. I’m actually growing my following on the @A_K_Anderson account faster than I’d anticipated. Today’s follower number wasn’t supposed to be hit until this time in February.  I think this is partially momentum, and partially the idea of using the tool well.

Here is a really good article from Buffer on Twitter habits that I agree with fully. To sum up:

  1. tweet often, regularly, and to a variety of sources
  2. endorse others publicly and thoughtfully
  3. focus your topics
  4. limit your time on Twitter
  5. post at least one non-link, thoughtful tweet per day
  6. use the follow button
  7. create list of mentors to observe.

I like all of these habits, and I think we should all consider them a necessary part of Twitter use.  I’d add a few more:

  • Link to yourself only once per day unless it’s part of a conversation (this includes blog links and self-promotion)
  • Retweet at least two really good, useful posts per day
  • Use tools to schedule your tweets during offline times (when you know your audience is still active)
  • Set up Google alerts around your area of interest to find new, interesting things to tweet to your followers. This is a great way to get added to daily roundups, and a way to be seen as a valuable person to follow
  • Start – and keep up – conversations.

More on this later – I’m still working on larger ideas. I just wanted to share these insights because I had them rattling around in my head today, and I’d forgotten to schedule a post this morning. 🙂



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