The point of using Twitter is to find out what is trending in your field, what’s hot, what’s not and to network with people that you are interested in and that are interested in you or what you do or offer. It can be HUGELY useful and you can boost your sales and or your visibility enormously but it’s quite a learning curve.
When I first started using Twitter I felt like the small town girl who’d just moved from tiny Hicksville to New York city to start University. Everything moved so damn fast!
I didn’t know a soul and nobody seemed to have the time to stop and be introduced, let alone stay for a chat.
I didn’t know who I should follow and I didn’t know what to do with people who followed me. One of my first twitter followers said words to affect of stalking me which was probably meant completely legitimately but it got all my provincial self’s alarm bells ringing. I felt way out of my depth and thoroughly inept.
I was also, as I said in an earlier post, pretty indiscriminate with my affections, a bit like a puppy in the pound. I’d follow anyone who looked like they’d follow me back. That’s kind of like joining the crush to cross the street at the lights and asking people standing next to you if they want to be your friend. You get some weird looks and those that say yes probably have questionable motives.
It took two weeks to start feeling a little more comfortable and realise I should get rid of some of those strange people I was following and be a little more choosy. I still looked for authors and writers and so on but now I scrutinised bio’s and read their websites and blogs first to see if they really appealed.
I learned very quickly to thank people for following me, one, to take the time to build the connection and two, because I was genuinely grateful! Some people ignored my thanks and others replied. And their replies were either friendly and open, inviting further interaction or they were a polite acknowledgement that clearly said, ‘Thanks for the thanks but hassle me any further.’.
After about four weeks I still felt I was in the big city but I felt I’d moved to the university and that I was now surrounded by people that were roughly in the same space that I was, wanting to tell the world about their writing and their books.
I still hardly knew any of them but as I raced from lesson to lesson, tweet to tweet, I was gradually starting to recognize various people in the crowds. Some of them would even smile at me and every now and then someone would actually tweet hello. I was still at the point where I found this exciting!
I was also learning, that just like in the real world, you’d get some people, the popular crowd, who’s Tweet, regardless of how vacuous they were, would still get madly retweeted while the nerds out there with clever/useful/profound tweets seemed to fade into the background.