Twitter = How Can I Add Value to Others?

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.

  1. 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?"
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You shouldn't be all business or just a constant quotation regurgitator. Your followers also want to know about you as a person.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Don't use @mentions for selling. I stop following people immediately when they use Twitter to spam me.
  10. 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.

Tim Stevens14 Comments