Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Twooth about Twitter - Part 2

Twitter Protocol

There are some who will tell you that if someone follows you, you must follow them. There are others who say, only follow those who interest you. I’m from the latter school of thought. I see no reason to follow the guy who wants to sell me a self-published book on how to write a book. If you don’t follow them back, you’ll undoubtedly lose a follower, but the only reason he’s following you is to (a) get you to buy his book and/or (b) to increase the number of people following him. When I first started, I’d check to see how many people a person was following and how many followers he had. If they were very close in numbers, I declined to follow them because they were merely trying to increase their number of followers.

How do you tell if someone is following you because they liked your tweets? Look at the number of people she follows and the number of people who are following her. If the two numbers are close, the person probably isn’t so much interested in you as increasing the number of followers.

There are people, celebrities, like Oprah, whose followers number in the millions. Obviously, there is no way they can read all the tweets from a million followers. They want to be heard. As long as that’s understood, go ahead and follow your faves. I have to admit a tingle of a thrill when Oprah added me to her list of followers. Do I think she’s intrigued with my 140 characters every day? No. But the thrill was there anyway.

How Much Should I Twitter?

That question has been the subject of many a blog post. Some say once or twice a day is sufficient. Others say, no, no, you have to tweet at least a half dozen times each and every day. The bottom line is that you don’t want to annoy people. Don’t tweet more than once or twice a day if you have nothing to say or share. If you don’t have something pithy to say, find a blog post you like a lot and tweet it’s URL with a comment that says what it’s about. Or retweet (passing on another’s tweet) a tweet to your followers. I needed an extra tweet one day so I tweeted the following:

To paraphrase Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 [queries] that won’t work.”

Blogging and Twitter

Blogging is yet another way to develop a following and help brand yourself. Blogging is a topic best left to another day. However, don’t forget to put a link to Twitter on your blog so you’ll gain a few more people as followers.

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