When people say they don’t get Twitter — it’s because they need to be more proactive. Twitter doesn’t work if you lurk, post updates, and do nothing else.
What I’ve learned after using Twitter for a month:
- Follow unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- @comment others to make the most of the experience.
- Link to your stuff — smartly. Frequently linking to your stuff leads to unfollows. Besides, it defeats tweet purpose.
- Don’t take non-responses personally. Conversations fly on Twitter, so people might miss it or simply receive too many @replies to respond to every single one.
- Be patient in getting the hang of Twitter. Twitter’s help is helpless and it has a few quirks for a simple app.
- Avoid addiction by taking care in using addicting apps like Twhirl and other cool Twittapps or else Twitter will suck you in for more time than you can afford. I curb addiction by checking in twice a day (start and end of day) and no in-between (except weekends).
- Use your name or else people won’t know who you are. I started with Content Maven and no face photo. Hey, I didn’t know better at the time.
Does Twitter help your business? Well, I haven’t landed clients or talked much shop through Twitter. But Twitter helps freelancers and solo enterpreneurs feel like we have a little office environment, which produces noise that makes you feel like you’ve got co-workers nearby.
Twitter also offers a nice way to connect with friends and colleagues while meeting new folks. I’ve asked and answered personal and professional questions, which can be valuable or simply fun. I asked a question about examples of good online help and one person responded not to use Twitter’s as an example of how to do it. The irony.