Bruce Springsteen once lamented about having “57 channels and nothing to watch.” Some days when I’m on Twitter, I feel the same way.
Many of my tweets come from email subscriptions. But I would like to retweet more people I follow. Not that I’m a big shot, with only about 900 followers, most gathered this year.
Because of my small following, Guy Kawasaki would tell you not to listen to anything I say, especially if it disses him, as Steve Crescenzo did when Guy’s interns pounded out promotional tweets during the Boston marathon bombing.
I do not enjoy guru-versus-guru pissing matches on social media. But then it’s better than those endless wisdom quotes. Or the people tweeting crap they obviously haven’t read. The robot messages trying to suck me into a sales funnel I don’t fit. Or those snippets of conversations that don’t make any sense.
The magic of Twitter
But then I find a link to a post that educates me on exactly what I need to learn that day, kick starts synapses or makes me laugh. Sometimes I discover that a celebrity has died, before my kids do on Facebook, an ongoing competition here. Or I make a new friend, though we’ll never hang out off line unless I end up in Uttar Pradesh. I like what he says, so I’ll call him a twiend, rhymes with bend.
The most common question I get from these clients, and my many boomer friends who aren’t into social media, is: how do you find the time?
It’s a good question, and explains why much of my Twitter activity takes place when it works for me, rather than when the gurus tell me to tweet. I know, I should automate more, but I haven’t forgiven myself for issuing a self-promotional auto tweet during the Boston marathon bombing, even though I’m not American and apparently the gurus had no problem with tweeting during the building collapse in Bangladesh or the nerve gas in Syria or the flood in Calgary. Just saying.
The paradox of rules
I try to follow the rules, but the rules keep changing, even though the gurus claim to have real research that backs them up. Or maybe I am just stupid.
Tweet early in the morning before people head into meetings… no, tweet between 1pm and 3pm… no, tweet on the weekend… no, never tweet on the weekend.
When you have a new post, tweet the link and ask them to RT (retweet for my favorite client, yes you). No, never ask people to retweet. They’ll know you’re not a rock star.
Be authentic. Be a rock star.
Ask questions. Provide answers.
Watch out for how often you promote you own stuff. Four retweets to every one of your own links? Or maybe a 12-to-one ratio?
Don’t over-automate or sell too much, unless you’re Guy, the expert we should all emulate.
Don’t post before a weekend, especially a long weekend, though that’s coming up here in Canada.
Be social, the part I find most challenging, because I don’t actually know many of the people I follow, unlike Facebook, where we could be close friends, and LinkedIn, where I’ve at least usually met my connections in person. For a friendly extrovert, I am shy on Twitter.
I’ll probably figure it out, though as soon as I do some so-called expert will offer contradictory advice. For me, that’s life on Twitter.