Friday, February 11

What I've Learned From Twitter - So Far

Months ago I said to my friend @mamajoan, "Can you help me learn Twitter?" After she stopped laughing (I assume ;) ), she said "Absolutely! You can do this!"

So in I plowed. I wasn't unfamiliar with the concept or the medium - just the ins and outs. I wasn't 100% what a hashtag was, I didn't know what RT meant, I had no ideas "how to get followers". I just knew that I was dying to "listen" to other people who were interested and involved in the same things I am.

The first few days were like an overload of information. I clicked on links, I read until my eyes were dry, I followed people whose bios sounded interesting. I worked up the nerve to RT and Reply to others - somehow it seemed like a much bigger deal than it actually is! - and I read articles that let me know what hashtags and chats were. I went out of my way to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could - I don't like being a "Newbie"!

It didn't take long for me to realize a few very important TwitterTruths:
  • RTs are important - they show people you agree with and support what they're saying, or that you think what they have to say is relevant
  • Replying to someone's Tweet isn't rocket science - and it'll more than likely be met with appreciation
  • While it's not difficult to find people to follow, getting followed back isn't as simple - it requires you to actually engage people and be interesting
  • Bots & spammers do not a following make - there are plenty of them out there
  • Just like on any other social media network, there is good and bad content - it's up to you to weed through and decipher what's relevant to you
  • An amazing network of people exists out there - and they're actually interested in having a conversation, not just talking and being heard
It's worth repeating: reciprocation is a major theme on Twitter - and so it should be! Whether you're Tweeting for your organization/company/non-profit or for yourself, engaging and conversing should be your main goal. There's really no such thing as a one-sided conversation, after all. are you to learn from others if you're not participating?

I have no illusions...I'm still learning. However, I can say this without hesitation: It's worth the study, and I consider myself lucky to have "met" the people in my network - both those I'm following and those who follow me. What's life without a conversation, after all?

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