So — you’ve finally decided to try out The Twitter and gotten your own little account. You’ve posted your photo, added a nice little bio, and even followed some interesting folks. But your initial tweets have gone out into the Interwebs with absolutely no indication that anyone heard them. And you continue to tweet, as the silence begins to remind you of Junior High when the cool kids pretended you didn’t exist. (I don’t know about this first hand, of course — but I’ve read stories.)
I can help. Here are my best ideas on what you may be doing wrong — from a guy who just passed 10,000 tweets.
Number 10: You Actually Answer The Question “What’s Happening?”
We don’t care about you. We care about us. Tell me something I can use, something I’m interested in, or something that amuses me. Your mom is the only one who wants to know what’s happening.
Number 9: You’re The Mayor Of 7-11
The vast majority of the Twitter population doesn’t care what Mafia items you have or want, what part of Farmville you hail from, or your successful unseating of your brother-in-law and mayor of your patio. See also #10.
Number 8: Uve Abv8ted 2 Mch
Surprisingly, many of us on Twitter are not 14-year-old texting fanatics, and still use English as our first language. If we can’t parse your message easily, we slide right past.
Number 7: It’s A Conversation, Not A Lecture
While I’m really glad that you’ve just realized that Dolphins are gods from another universe, it would be really great if you got down off the soapbox once in a while. Maybe we could find some common ground and actually provide value for each other.
Number 6: I Don’t Care Which Starbucks You’re At
Unless I’m a burglar, I really don’t care that you’re currently located at the Starbucks on 185th and Glendenning. And if I am a burglar, you’d better head home right now.
Number 5: You’re Not Providing Value
If you’re a hairstylist, give me tips on how to keep my new cut looking great. If you’re a mechanic, tell me what to watch for to keep my buggy running smooth. If you’re a burglar, tell me how to keep bad guys out of my house.
Number 4: You’re Thinking Short Term
Only Oprah and Bill Gates get lots of followers in days. Your experience here in Twitville will be (most likely) a slow climb, and plan it that way. Anyone who tells you you’re going to get 5,000 followers in a week is providing you meaningless names on a list, not people who really are interested in what you have.
Number 3: You’re Being A Jerk
Make sure that if you “re-tweet” content you say so, and if you share ideas that started somewhere else you mention that. Nothing gets you in hot water faster than being a TwitterPhoney.
Number 2: You’re Trying To Be Somebody Else
The idea of “transparency” gets bantered around a lot, nowadays. That doesn’t mean you have to tell us all about who you’re sleeping with or those Pop Tarts you shoplifted in the third grade — but you do need to be a real person in your online exploits.
…and the NUMBER ONE reason Twitter doesn’t work for you?
Number 1: That Avatar Of You In The 4th Grade Just Isn’t That Cute
Yeah, somebody had to tell you. You were a goofy looking little kid, and that’s why nobody wanted to share lunches with you.