Stop Tweeting. Start Engaging.

21 Feb

Twitter menuI don’t remember when I joined Twitter.  I don’t remember why, either.  I know my first account was @Nixie, which now enjoys a 1% Kred badge.  That lets me know that I was likely testing the network for a brand I was working with at the time.  If you Google my name (or my handle) I’m sure you will find abandoned profiles on MySpace, Bebo, and a host of other social networks.  You see, I was never comfortable recommending a brand join a social network until I knew how it worked and how we could succeed.  I know a lot of people who like the “jump on the bandwagon” approach to new technology, but since it was usually up to me to execute these ideas I wanted to know everything I could before offering it as part of my content strategy.

I fell in love with Twitter almost immediately.  It propelled me down the rabbit hole to learn about every form of social media that was available.  After a month I no longer cared if these networks could bring me unique visitors.  All I wanted was to be a part of them.

I certainly started on Twitter far enough back that I was able to experience it in a purer form that what I see today.  The majority of my posts would be described as engagement.  Sure I went crazy with the links, like everyone does, but I made sure to read through my feed and answer/ask questions of the people I followed.  What was amazing about that was how often they responded back to me.  Amy Vernon, Robert Scoble, Matt Cutts.  These weren’t small blips on the social media landscape. They offered me advice and listened to my 2 cents when it related to their discussions.

It’s rare to see that kind of exchange today.  So many people are on Twitter and all they care about is getting you to click a link back to their blog/site.  I’m happy to click and to RT those, but I miss the conversations.  They don’t always have to be warm and fuzzy, but it makes me sad that I mostly speak with former co-workers, friends from high school and family these days.  Twitter was my oasis.  A place to indulge and nurture my love of social media.  So, next time you see my handle, say hi.  Ask what I’m doing at the moment.  Have I read any good books lately?  Do I agree with the latest round of changes from Google?  I have a wide range of interests, but I can tell you that I will always answer you back and I’m far more likely to follow you if we talk on a regular basis.

Takeaways:

  • If you want to be heard, start talking to people.
  • Don’t just use Twitter as your RSS feed, unless you want no one to follow it.
  • You are never too small or too big to engage with someone via social media.  It’s the great equalizer.

photo credit: Scott Beale via photopin cc

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