Sunday’s 5 Rules for Tweeting Happily
I’m still amazed at how many businesspeople are not yet effectively using Twitter. Here are a few ideas about how to use Twitter as a really effective tool to move forward in your career:
- Follow people that matter to you and your industry. Don’t follow more than 150-200 people, max. Don’t follow people that just retweet a bunch of headlines, rather ones that surface thoughtful takes and stories that are relevant to you that you might otherwise miss. For clues to find these people look at… the people that are being followed by the influential people in your industry!
- Tweets are public, so pretend you’re standing up and saying something in the lunchroom at your company. Use that as a guide- if people at work shouldn’t hear what you’re saying (only one person may overhear you, but they can tell everyone else!) then don’t say it.
- Ignore DMs, and use @replies properly. Don’t waste your time trying to send direct messages to people. It’s too confusing, and you should just keep Twitter in your head as a public space. Many people don’t realize that a tweet that starts with a @handle will only be seen by that person, people looking at your list of tweets, and people that follow both of you. What this means is that @replies are particular effective when (a) you’re in a dense network where people are following each other to spur conversation, and (b) to let you send a message to someone with a lot of followers that they may ignore but it won’t pollute the feeds of people that follow you.
- Engage in conversation. Send more tweets than you are now, probably about 8 @reply tweets for every general tweet you publish to your network would be my guess. When you see a topic that’s interesting, reply to that person and weigh in if you have something constructive to say. Especially about stuff in your industry, you’ll be amazed sometimes at the things you learn. Be careful not to get upset if people don’t reply, because they won’t always see what you say.
- Use favorites a lot more than you are. If you agree with someone something is saying or even if you just think it’s an interesting viewpoint, favorite it. The person will see that favorite and may then engage with you, follow you etc. In many cases this is a good way to thank someone for a comment without sending a reply that may not have much to it.