The Twitter invasion is here. True, Twitter has been here for a while now, but the hype is finally topping the scales. Everybody who’s anybody has entered the exciting world of microblogging and is expanding their network. Many are professing to be that expert or guru in order to increase their follower block. Outrageous “get rich quick” schemes are becoming commonplace. Spammers have found a new haven.
Or have they?
True, Twitter is a groundbreaking communication technology that is here to stay. But from personal observation, far too many tweeters are missing the point.
At the turn of the century, many people were so intrigued with the rise of the Internet that they granted it the status of mysterious, almost magical. The possibilities seemed limitless. Open up any kind of online store, become a millionaire. Easily.
And then…the bubble popped.
Don’t get me wrong–I believe Twitter definitely has the potential to grow with stability and avoid the bubble-popping madness that followed the rise of the Internet age. But for that to happen, Tweeters must recognize that Twitter has no inherent fairy dust. The same business rules apply that have always applied. Don’t just be there to be heard. Interact. Provide real value. Help others (and that entails more than simply mentioning it in your bio).
If you want your brand (either personal or corporate) to have a significant and growing presence on Twitter, send occassional direct messages that aren’t automated. Retweet interesting tweets. Thank others for their retweets. Be human, and don’t profess to be the all-knowing expert or guru that everyone else is professing to be. And for pete’s sake, don’t promise people you’ll help them earn $20,000 from one tweet or help them double their followers in an hour.
Speaking of increasing followers, don’t get caught up in the hype. Most of those 20,000 followers other people have are either spammers or “experts” seeking nothing more than to increase their own pool of followers. You want an audience, not followers. Quality will trump quantity every time. Look for those who have a few hundred followers or less. Those are the people who will actually read and appreciate your tweets and will be much more likely to retweet them.
Just like any successful business practice, a successful Twitter campaign is focused on relationships, reciprocity, and respect. The rules really haven’t changed.