Due the popularity of Chris Spiek’s original post, I’ve asked him to come back to give us some more Twitter advice. This is Part Two of a three-part series. To read Part One, A Crash Course on Twitter, click here.
There’s a valid fear that many people face when getting started with Twitter that doesn’t usually get a lot of attention: When I hit the “Tweet” button, where do my Tweets go?
I explored this phobia in a recent conversation with marketing diva, fashionista and entrepreneur Alesya Opelt (Alesya Bags).
Most of us who are heavily involved in Twitter focus on getting the most impact out of each of those 140 characters. How can I make sure this gets retweeted by the most people? By the most influential people? How can I be sure that this link gets clicked by as many people as possible?
But for people who are first starting out with Twitter, the exact opposite can be true. It’s no mystery that In everyday conversation, our audience has a tremendous impact on how we deliver messages. Surrounded by your closest friends, it’s easy to pop-off about your opinions, knowing that you’re in a safe place. Position yourself in front of a larger audience or a small group of strangers, and usually you need to spend more time formatting your message.
Applying this same idea to Twitter can be paralyzing. The idea that whatever 140 characters I choose will be blasted out to the entire universe is hard to grasp. After all, Twitter now has over 100 million users! They get 180 billion unique visitors each month! Eeeek!
When you ask people to expand on this fear, they usually explain it as: “I’m only going to Tweet when I have something profoundly interesting or original to say.”
When someone is confronted with this fear, a slow immersion is usually the best way to get over it. Setup your account and follow people you know in real life, as well as a few thought-leaders in your industry. For the first few days, start of slow by sending @messages to your friends. You don’t need to be profound, you’re just sending a note to a friend.
Once you start to get the feel of the conversation, jump in a little deeper and start retweeting (RT) tweets from the thought-leaders that you think are interesting (retweeting is the act of sending a tweet that you think is interesting out to your followers).
When you feel comfortable enough, begin to respond to tweets from thought-leaders with your own opinions and publishing your content (if you’re a blogger/writer). By this time you’ll be immersed enough to understand the “Twitter Voice” and know how to participate in the conversation.
Think about this process as it relates to a real-world conversation. You’re much more likely to approach a group of people (and introduce yourself of course), and then get a feel for the tone/tempo/mood of the conversation before you contribute your opinion. Unless you’re part of the population who is incredibly outspoken, in which case you wouldn’t have had this fear in the first place.
Chris Spiek is a Managing Partner at Awecomm Web Strategies. He is an integral part of the Detroit Tech scene, an early adopter and recent Mac convert. To learn more about his SEO strategies and Twitter advice follow him at @chriscbs. Look for Part Three of his Twitter advice next week.