Anyone for a Tweet?

It’s August 2008 and I receive an email inviting me to join Twitter and Follow a couple of my friends, I joined, I followed, I got confused, I ran back to Facebook! About six months later they talked me into giving it another go. It took me a while, but once I figured out the whole Tweeting thing I was hooked (I don’t use Facebook at all anymore). I still get asked by a lot of people:

What’s the point?

What do you do?

How do you use it?

What do you get out of it?

and on and on.

For me I’ve built up communities of ‘friends’ I can split my friends into groups:

  • Real Friends: There are real friends. People I know from real life, friends, colleagues, family even who have joined the Twitter revolution
  • Metal Friends: These are the friends I’ve met via Twitter who share my passion for heavy metal, we talk music, gigs, festivals
  • Journo Friends: Other writers, either people like me who write about music in their spare time because they love it so much and have a passion for writing, or in some cases have been lucky enough to get jobs with some of the few magazines who have budgets to pay their writers
  • Virtual Friends: People who I have things in common with, books, writing, walking, health, blogging etc we talk, support and hold conversations. Some of these people live close to me, others live the other side of the world.
  • SEO Friends: People who do the same type of work as me, I can share knowledge, read blogs and gain industry knowlege from following and communicating with these people.

I also follow companies that I have an interest in keeping up with, news services, bands and band members. By creating lists you can make your timelines in Twitter much easier to manage, meaning you can filter things into more logical lists and find the people you’re looking for much easier.

Ultimately though, Twitter is quick and easy, five minutes here and there and your done.

So what if you are new to Twitter, what do you need to know?

  • Keep things short, you only have a 140 character limit
  • Don’t just broadcast, what do I mean by that? don’t just post lots of tweets or links and never join a conversation, you won’t get anything out of Twitter that way
  • Reply to people and join conversations, people won’t follow you unless you are saying something they think is worth listening to
  • It’s not about quantity it’s about quality! It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, it’s more about who those followers are and if you are conversing with them, if they like what you have to say, they will respond and retweet, then you will get more followers.
  • Don’t drown people’s timelines! Don’t  be sending 50 tweets in 5 minutes! That sort of thing gets people unfollowed fast!

Finally, Be Yourself!

———UPDATE OCTOBER 10th 2011——–

A good friend of mine has recently posted his own guide to Twitter, this is one of the friends who first introduced me to Twitter back in 2008, so I highly recommend giving his guide a read aswell (Help, Twitter, I’m Lost!)
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