Few months ago I decided to create a twitter account like so many others before me. My idea was to see what would happen and if it would interest me or benefit me in some way. The creation of the account posed no problem. Within five minutes I had chosen a name, written an unpretentious bio, uploaded a profile picture and had begun to follow the first users advised by the network. Easy! I had become a twitter user, the world was mine … Ttttttt Not so fast!
On the banks of a new world …
In hindsight I realize I had an image in my mind. An explorer posing his feet on a beach at the end of the world, immediately impressed by the life that seems to emerge from the place, and in the same time, realizing that he knows nothing about it. Initially he stays on the beach looking at the local population whose shares seem to be like strange “tweets” ….A new world that he must get to know. His best weapons? humility and perseverance and above all take the time to know! Because clearly it’s going to take time to learn the local dialect, customs, and tools … In my case, this learning has been done externally, i.e. outside of twitter, mostly through blogs. There are a multitude of them who focuses on social networks and on which it is possible to find the index of terms specific to each platform, but also an insane amount of tips. An answer (often several ) for each question you may ask for. If I had give you any advice, it would be to ignore titles like “10 Tips To Be A Power User” and to go into detail trying to find these little nuggets that will save you valuable time later, and remember that there is no magic … After this learning period, and armed with my new knowledge I decided to mix myself with the local wildlife in search of interaction … A quest in three steps!
Discovering the popuplation:
You would agree that there is little interest in exploring a new territory without taking the time to meet people who live there. Getting back to Twitter, one of the first question I asked myself was: “Who’s to follow and why?” I realized that there was no easy answer to this question. Let’s start from the beginning: Twitter is a social network, which is made for quick and short communication. Starting from this, the basic principle is to chose the people with whom I wanted to share or just people that I wanted to follow to keep me informed of their news. What is true is that depending on the type of account (business or personal) contact types may differ (friends, colleagues, customers interests, brands …) But eventually common sense prevails, the aim here is to create a Community. This avoids having to follow Lady Gaga if you’re a fan of classical music … Not completely correct! Twitter has a potential, that of opening new horizons, i.e. to allow you to interact with people who do not belong to your circle of traditional knowledge. If I have any advice to make it to be curious and go where you would not normally. Go out to meet people and don’t hesitate to engage with them. Good surprises (as heard good meetings) are not to exclude. Hence to say that you will encounter Gaga, there is a path that I do not walk.
Share and avoid trade dupe:
History is full of these men who seek to exchange some trinkets against gold… On Twitter the vast majority of tweets are based on the concept of sharing and exchange. But for this to work, i.e. generate interest from your community, it is better to exchange information which are relevant, useful or funny and if possible not to pollute others. Anyway, the judgment is immediate, and the “unfollow” stalking you. On the other hand, there is no interest in sharing at all costs. You may think : I have to share to be seen and followed, etc. … This leads to a slapstick situations, where people end up sharing the content without even taking the time to know what they share. Again a waste of time!
A new world with its own pace:
Time passes differently on Twitter. Many people recognizes how to best spread the information. In short: today information flows more quickly on twitter, that’s how. In parallel and having experienced it, Twitter is a bottomless pit in which it is very easy to waste time. The risk is literally to be swallowed completely by it and to spend so many hours in front of your screen trying desperately to follow each updates of your subscriptions … From then, the evidence appears: you must organize your time. How long you can spend on it , for what purpose, at what time your community is online and therefore to be able to answer to you… In fact, a tweet from time to time is not useful (I think I read somewhere that the life span of a tweet rarely exceeds 2 minutes …). What ultimately counts is the regularity. There are tools to optimize your use as HootSuite and Socialbro to name a few. But again it takes time to learn to use it! And they can’t do everything for you, meaning you have to take care of your community as a human and not as a “bot”.
So what can we learn from having used Twitter?
That time is required, every single day and that one needs continuously to post updates on what is going on. If you have time to dedicate to Twitter then this may be a tool for you, but if you don’t then starting the twitter journey may not be for you. It’s that simple, at least for me. What about you? Tell me if you are a Twitter user and don’t hesitate to share your own experience in the comments below.