5 Rules for Success on Twitter

Twitter bird yelling

OK, so you’re on Twitter.  Now what?

Twitter is mysterious and funny, quirky and habit-forming.  But you’ve only got 3 people following you!

You need a strategy for making sense of it and for learning how to make it work for you.  Here are some basic rules to get you started.

Rule #1:  Be smart. Even though you’ve only got a handful of followers, anyone might see your tweets.  So, don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t want a friend, an enemy, a client, your manager, your mother or anybody else to see.

Rule #2:  Decide who you want to be. Tony Hsieh, CEO of online retailer Zappos, once asked the question what would you do and who would you be if you were always on camera?  What kind of person would you want to become if you knew there would be a permanent, written record of everything you ever said?  It’s kind of humbling to think about, but that’s what Twitter does.

Rule #3.  Remember that it’s not all about you. Twitter asks its users what they’re doing.  Ignore that.  Ask yourself instead what your readers are doing and what they might like  know about. They have to get some value out of your messages, or they’ll lose interest and stop following you.  Conversely, tweet about things of interest—topics people may be searching—and your list of followers will grow.

Rule #4.  Get retweeted. Include links to articles you’ve read, YouTube videos you’ve seen, or even your own blog posts.  If people like what you’ve shared, they’ll pass it on and that will grow your following as well.

Rule #5.  Be funny and have fun. In this respect, Twitter is like life in general:  you won’t get very far if you take yourself too seriously.

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