I have been tweeting for about a month, and in that time, many friends have asked, “What’s the big deal with Twitter?” Well, I originally started the account to promote my blog and music, but in addition to the increased exposure, I discovered a wonderful multi-cultural social outlet. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
- If you are promoting something, don’t be one of those folks who only tweets about themselves and their product(s). Take the time to meet others, what’s going on in their lives, retweet things you like, and look for people who share common interests.
- Don’t expect followers to magically appear and don’t expect people to comment on everything you post. It takes time to build a following on Twitter. Take the initiative and reply to others, favorite and retweet items you enjoy. Follow those individuals whose tweets interest you. Most of the time, they will follow you back, though I am still waiting for Russell Crowe 😉
- Many people prefer to remain anonymous. While my first thought went to the cruel messages unknown people leave at the end of internet articles, I haven’t seen much of that on Twitter. Most of the people I encountered have been courteous and respectful. While I stay relatively anonymous with most of my followers, I have exchanged e-mails with a few for more lengthy discussions about politics and made a few friends who have joined me on Facebook.
- I have a large variety of interests, so my Twitter followers cover a broad group. I have those who love anything funny, including a few hilarious British airline employees and some American and Canadian gals who join in to give them a difficult time. Parenting tips are learned and shared with the many moms, and many of those moms join a fun Friday night group called #wineparty. In addition, Twitter has introduced me to fellow writers, musicians, and educators. I also love the contact with the military vets! They have some amazing stories to share (and I have a soft spot for my Marines). Finally, I have quite a few followers who cover the entire political spectrum.
- While I post a few political tweets, I find 140 characters limits my ability to say anything meaningful. The occasional one liner is fun, but Twitter, for me, is not an effective place to debate ideas.
My favorite part of Twitter is the view of the world. Contact with people from around the globe still amazes me. I learn about their culture, traditions, joys, sorrows. For someone who energizes her soul when traveling and meeting strangers, Twitter gives me something to do while I am saving for that next great adventure. Give Twitter a try! I will be your first follower: @Murphyblog