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What I’ve Learned About Twitter

Written by Jill Manty  · September 7, 2010

So, I’m still working on FourSquare, etc. BUT I have become active on Twitter. Today is day 15. I’ve gone from 7 followers to almost 300. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Twitter cannot be explained.

You really do have to learn by doing. I’ve looked at George’s Twitter account I don’t even know how many times and thought, “I don’t get it”. Now, I’m on Twitter, and I get it. I think it’s depleting my ability to focus for more than 45 seconds every time I log on but at least now I understand. So, if you’ve been putting off “doing Twitter” because you don’t get it, just go ahead and dive in. There are no Twitter police. No one’s going to yell at you for doing it wrong. Sign up, get an account and follow me. Then give me a shout, and I’ll follow you back. That’s the hard part. It gets easier from there.

2. There are people I won’t follow.

People who don’t have any tweets. People who write every tweet in a language other than English (no prejudice here, I just can’t follow you if I can’t read what you’re saying). People who regularly use language that will be a problem if my children are reading my Twitter stream over my shoulder, even though they’re not supposed to do that because it’s rude. If I go to look at your page to decide whether to follow you, and it looks like the script of a Quentin Tarantino film, I’m probably not going to follow you. People who refer to themselves as a “visionary”— no real reason. It just bugs me.

3. A quick method I use to determine who I’m going to follow.

When someone follows me, and I get an email saying that someone new is following me, I go to their profile and scan their tweet stream. If I get to the bottom of the page, and I’m not offended, that’s a good sign. But if I get to the bottom of the page and don’t see one thing I’d be interested in retweeting, that’s a bad sign. So, this is a lesson you can use to help you determine who to follow. It’s also a lesson in being someone that other people want to follow— be interesting. Or at least retweet people who are.

4. Hootsuite is my friend.

Hootsuite has been really helpful in being able to scan what’s going on with my Twitter account. There are a few things I don’t really care for. And I really need to do a bit more diving in. But, overall, it’s a necessary tool for me to be successful with Twitter.

So, that’s it. That’s what I’ve learned. For the most part. Any of you out there new to Twitter? Struggling with Twitter? Do you have Twitter questions? As we’ve established, I’m no expert. But if you leave a question in the comments, I’ll do my best to find the answer. And the most important question— have you followed me yet? ūüôā

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6 Responses to “What I’ve Learned About Twitter”

  1. Robert Gaston on September 7th, 2010 10:38 pm

    It’s refreshing and encouraging to read your site on making Twitter work. I’ve been on Twitter for awhile, and I tweet and retweet occasionally, but I haven’t really gotten in the swing of it yet. I am encouraged with the hope that if I follow your posts for a while I may get the hang of it yet!

  2. Jill Manty on September 10th, 2010 8:52 am

    Robert, Thanks for the feedback. I think Twitter works best when you do something every single day. Even if you just RT three or four things. I also would really recommend setting up Hootsuite (I set up my own account, so I guarantee it’s not that difficult). It makes it easier to keep track of mentions, direct messages and your Tweetstream.

  3. Fred Black on September 17th, 2010 9:11 am

    I’ve been tweeting a while and I’m still not convinced it will add to the bottom line!

  4. Jill Manty on September 17th, 2010 1:27 pm

    Hi Fred,

    What are you goals for Twitter? How many followers do you have? Who is your target audience?

  5. James Rollins on September 20th, 2010 2:53 pm

    Ok, I tweet all the time and I can see the importance of it. I have two Twitter accounts where I’ve been offered paid Tweets on both. You can market anything on Twitter and it takes no work at all. I think Fred (above) may not have a large follower base yet, and that’s why he doesn’t see it.

  6. Ankit on January 11th, 2011 9:57 pm

    yes,i have followed you,but i don’t understand tweeter but what i like i retweet them,can you tell me how can i increse my follower and what are the ways by which i can chat with them:)