Last August I wrote an article called Ten Random Things I've Learned About Twitter. Since then, more than 42 million new people started using Twitter--so I thought it would be a good time to update the article with some changes based on what I've learned since then. I'm going to do this in two posts--this one for everyone who uses Twitter. And the next one for those who manage large numbers of followers.
I'm not a Twixpert or Twenius -- but I have learned a few things in my journey through the Twitterverse since I jumped in with both feet in May of 2008.
- Twitter started as "What Am I Doing?" -- then changed last year to "What's Happening?" I ignore both those questions. The question I ask myself every day is, "How Can I Add Value to Others?"
- Don't tweet a message to one individual. That's called email or text message. Tweets should be for the majority of those who follow you.
- People don't like auto messages, like when you have a service send an automatic thank-you every time you get a new follower. Tried it. Backfired. Never again.
- You should turn Twitter off occasionally. Like anything, you can become addicted. When you are with your family or in a conversation--shut 'er down. It will wait.
- You shouldn't be all business or just a constant quotation regurgitator. Your followers also want to know about you as a person.
- Don't use those annoying services that automatically tweet the first 140 characters from your blog posts. Choose your posts selectively, and sell me on why I should jump over to read your blog.
- Don't be a Twachine-gun tweeter (someone who spits out 14 in a row). If it was meant for 700 characters, it would be designed that way. Keep it short.
- Don't use services like TwitLonger -- I don't want to have to click to read the rest of your sentence. Save long tweets for a blog post.
- Don't use @mentions for selling. I stop following people immediately when they use Twitter to spam me.
- I always try to tweet in 124 characters or less. Why? So people can easily re-tweet me. It requires 16-characters to type RT: @timastevens, and the more re-tweeting, the more value I can add to others.
More Tweet advice tomorrow for people with large numbers of followers.