Be a Real Person on Twitter

I recently read an excellent article on what Follow Friday is truly about on Twitter. It got me thinking about the domain of Twitter and how different people come across with different personas. As somebody who likes to engage people in areas of interest, I want to really connect with people on Twitter. In the several months I’ve been using it, I have found it an invaluable information resource. I also want to use it as a promotional tool, but it seems to me the most effect method for promoting is through personally connecting with the people who follow you.

How can you be a REAL person on twitter?

1) Tweet with sincerity. There are people on twitter who tweet their every step in the day. While it may not be interesting, they are tweeting with honesty. There are others who only seem to tweet self-promotional dribble, but you don’t really know who they are because they don’t tweet much about themselves. Share some of yourself on Twitter so people know who the person is behind the username.

2) Engage people in conversation. If somebody tweets an area of interest to you, tweet them back. If somebody tweets an issue they’re having, respond with a note of encouragement. These are the conversations that grow into trusted tweet buddies. These are the people who will get to know you, and when you’re ready to promote, they will promote you. Just like in real business, the relationships create the network.

3) Don’t send canned tweets. I’ve noticed people have a set of tweets that they send every few days. Where’s the innovation in that? They are clearly tweeting for the purpose of promoting, but when using the same promotion over and over, it’s clear there’s no sincerity. It’s not hard to come up with a 140-character sentence. If you want to promote the same link, introduce it in a different way.

4) Find people who share your interests. If you use the subject search box, you can find people who are tweeting on subjects of interest to you. Follow them, they will likely follow you. Then you will have something to talk about that you like reading and responding to.

5) Support your friends. Twitter is about sharing and supporting each other. The way support is shown is by:

  • retweeting their posts
  • sending out Follow Friday tweets
  • mentioning their blog, website in a tweet
  • engaging in Twitter conversations so people can get to know them

If you’re only tweeting yourself or sharing information, you’re missing out by not engaging in the exchange of Twitter conversation.

6) Remember the purpose. Twitter is about making connections. It’s an excellent way to network, gain new information and find similar people to converse with. It’s not about “whoever dies with the most followers wins”. That just gets you a bunch of followers and not a true promotional outlet.

Here are some of my favorite REAL people on Twitter:

This post was inspired by tweets by @cwalkman and Twitter – Rules for Follow Friday by @JosephRanseth, an excellent article talking about how a sincere idea on Twitter turned into a tit for tat circus, and how we can bring it back to its roots.

2 Responses to “Be a Real Person on Twitter”

  1. Robert Bravery says:

    Hey Bonnie,

    Thanks for the mention. I am one of those guys who is all for real people on twitter. One of the things that I do not understand is people ho follow 10's of thousands of people. Who in the world can you manage that? To me you cannot possible be personal with those followers. Not even if you spend the whole day on Twitter. Twitter is about networking, and you need to be real and honest and personal for Networking to work

  2. […] is a Twitter #Hashtag? Posted by Bonnie Landau on 11 Feb 2010 under Uncategorized As Twitter has grown, people follow hundreds of people, and as a result it’s not so simple to read all […]