I’m writing this blog as a way of accepting a challenge from my friend Venessa Miemis. Always glad to be pushed in new ways!
I’ve been a devoted Twitter-er for nearly a year. In that period I’ve moved from reluctant skeptic to poster-child advocate. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned.
1) Respect the person behind the icon. Early on I “blocked” a young lady because her icon was a little provocative. My assumption was that she was spamming me or worse. Later that day she wrote a comment on my blog — she was a student trying to learn from me and she was disappointed that I turned out to be a smug elitist. Wow, talk about being humbled. I apologized profusely and now we’re friends. This was a great lesson and I’m glad it happened early in my Twitter career. Think about the real people behind the icon. You should be honored they are interested in you. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
2) This is best kind of networking. About a year ago I was attending a live, weekly meeting with a networking group that had the initials “TNT.” Every time an attendee reported something positive, everybody would suddenly yell “BOOM!” TNT … get it? Scared the crap out of me every time. The long meetings, the referrals, the score-keeping and gimmicks — not for me, especially after I discovered the power of Twitter. Nearly every customer, partner and supplier I currently work with came through Twitter. This is the NEW networking. No limits. No scary noises.
3) It’s not for kids. This is a business tool. Get in the game.
4) It’s not for everyone. I have not quite placed my finger on it, but there is a certain subset of the human race who will not, can not tweet. I think it has something to do with being an engineer, but I need more data on this. : ) Accept them. Love them. Move on.
5) Go to the party. One of the most over-used descriptions of how to succeed on Twitter is adopting the “cocktail party” persona: Be nice, entertain, be helpful, don’t sell. It might be trite, but it’s also about the best advice you can give anybody. It’s a metaphor that’s easy to understand and it’s accurate. If people will pay attention to you at a party, they’ll pay attention to you on Twitter.
6) Adapt and adopt. If you spend too much time trying to “find your audience,” you will completely miss the amazing audience who has found YOU.
7) Twitter is an appetizer. But to get to the main course, you need to write your new friends, call them and, if possible, meet them. That’s when the real magic happens!
8) Don’t tweet drunk. ‘Nuff said.
Please tell me the lessons you’ve learned from Twitter.