Managing your Twitter Persona

If what you want is more friends, do some searches on the networks you use already for people talking about subjects that interest you and add them as friends. (FriendFeed is fantastic for this) Some will add you back and some won’t. Most experienced social media users have a criteria for deciding who they will friend and who they won’t. If a user sees that you’ve started following them or added them as a friend, they’ll check out your profile before deciding to add you or not. There’s no set criteria, but here are a few of the most common.

Unbalanced follow/follower ratios
On Twitter, many look to see what your follow to followers ratio is. If you’re following 1,000 people and only 50 are following you, you may be labeled a spammer, and people who are particular about such things won’t add you. Either that or you’re really boring.

Don’t think you’re so famous that you don’t need to follow back either. Yes, there will be some people you don’t care to follow, but if you’re one of those people who is followed by thousands and doesn’t follow any of them back you’re being a part of the community.

Twitterwhore
I didn’t come up with this title, but to some extent it fits. It’s used to describe those people who post their every action to the universe as though everybody cares. Lisa Nova did this video on YouTube to show you what NOT to do on Twitter.

Don’t be this person. It’s cute for about a minute and then people just ignore you. Unless of course your friends are like this too.

Ranters
If you’re constantly ranting about your job, the weather, the government or your life, you’d best be really really entertaining while doing it. People don’t mind amusing griping but they don’t want to get an endless stream of negativity in their in-box. Cheer up already.

Obvious self propaganda
Go ahead and talk about yourself and your business. Toast your successes and toot your own horn on occasion, but don’t forget that there are other people in the world. Toot somebody else’s horn once in a while. Support other poster’s theories and successes. Lend a hand when somebody asks a question you can answer. If all you talk about is the glories of being you, you’re gonna be talking to yourself.

It’s about everybody else
As with all social media networks–or life for that matter–your value is in what you offer the community and how you interact with it. Be helpful whenever you can, even if you don’t know the person. Promote people you run across who impress you. What’s the cost of a leg up or a pat on the back? Share your resources with the group and they share theirs with you. It’s really that simple.

Be the link fairy
When you’re talking about a topic don’t forget links to back up your position. Spread the link love on the blogs your reading so other people can learn from them too. Share links to bloggers or videos or articles of your favorite people to give them the credit they deserve.

Follow interesting people
Unless you really do have tunnel vision and only want to talk about 1 thing forever, it helps make things more interesting if you follow or link to people who are just plain interesting to you. Work in hardware but your interested in green? Cool, find out who’s talking about green and add some seasoning to your conversations. It tells the community you’re sharing more than just the rote business stuff. People like to get an idea of the personality if the person they’re talking to.

Have fun
Twitter is all about having some fun while you’re building relationships. Whether those relationships are for business or just friendship, they’ll be a lot more interesting if you relax and have a little fun with it. Don’t over-share or say anything you wouldn’t say face to face and you’re probably fine.

Are you on Twitter? What advice have you to share? C’mon, everybody has their favorite Twitter secret. Tell us. We’re your friends…..

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  • Janet, great advice. It will really help those that have move beyond the beginner phase. They have figured Twitter out and now want to have impactful, interesting conversations. This post gives them guidelines on how to do that.

    Warren Sukerneks last blog post..Have you seen these cool Twitter videos?

  • Ginny

    That Twitterwhore movie is hysterical!!! That was what I thought of Twitter too until I started using it. The rest of your advice is very good place to start for beginner. What do Twitter power users do?

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