It took only seven days for me to appreciate the conversational power of Twitter, and to see why fans use it to follow artists and businesses. As I entered my second week I wondered what I should be tweeting about. I’ve wrangled a consistent audience of blog readers for years, but could I be compelling in 140 character soundbites?
Therein lies the paradox of Twitter. Many people get followed for who they are, rather than what they’re saying. But if you’re not Ashton, Oprah, or even Amanda Palmer, the only people following you for who you are will be your friends and blog readers. Maybe your mom?
That means you need to create a reason to be followed. You need a niche.
Some people skip out on niche-ing and just follow everyone else that they can find, hoping for reciprocal attention. It works – to an extent. You certainly could wind up with a hefty list of followers that way, but what’s the use of 1500 followers you don’t care to read? Are you even writing anything for them to follow and interact with? Wouldn’t a consistent, engaging conversation with 300 be more fullfilling?
The idea is original and the content is strong – if you have an interest in social marketing you’d be silly not to follow Toby. Additionally, she’s engaging in conversation – the first time I mentioned her she even wrote me an @ thank-you note for tweeting about her.
In short, Toby is succeeding at Twitter just for talking about the thing that interests her the most.
I realized midway through week two that my twitter-gimmick is the same as my CK gimmick, such as it is. I lead a strange and interesting life! Marketer by day, songwriter by night, and freelancer and non-profiteer on the side.
I leveraged my intense Wednesday as an experiment, first live-tweeting a Lyndzapalooza meeting for the LP twitter, and then offering a play-by-play while co-hosting our weekly open mic with Gina. Suddenly, I was the one people were @ing. Was I live-tweeting an open mic? Where was it? I highlighted the artists, conducted twitterviews, and kept meeting new tweeters as people sent me @s or followed me.
Twitter seemed much simpler to me the next morning. It’s the same as anything else – write what you know and enjoy, and write it well. Even if it’s inane. Converse with like–minded people. And use Twitter to influence what you write elsewhere.
You create a cohesive, compelling, digital identity for yourself – and get to make friends all around the world that you would have never met otherwise.
By the end of my second week on Twitter it was beginning to make sense to me, but I still wasn’t addicted. It took seven more days for that to happen. More on that tomorrow. In the meantime, follow me.