...Twingle, cowboy! [tweetmeme=”MarkBrimm”]
What’s twingling? It’s mingling on Twitter. Lots of people are tweeting on Twitter these days. And lots are NOT, even though they have an account. The reason? Stage fright, lack of a feeling for the medium, who knows.

It’s bad enough if you’re not an internet person, but many are downright intimidated by a social media platform like Twitter, where everything is instant–and who can blame them? Here’s a few tips that should get even the most bashful Twitterer up and throwing down tweets in no time…

Tweeting is supposed to be a way to network professionally one second and personally the next without batting an eye. Casual exchanges are what Twitter are all about. If you’re natural and off the cuff, people trust that you’re not reading from a script, which would make you a “bot” (a robot, or a program, usually selling insurance, porn…if you’ve ever been in a chat room or gotten spam emails, surely you get what I’m saying here). Tweet as if your grandmother or boss might read it, but with enough of the real you that you could make people laugh and get a feeling for the real you just from reading your updates.

Next, you’ll want to avoid repeating yourself. This is crucial if you have something to promote. It’s okay to promote your junk several times a week, but a daily grind of that, as Chris Brogan has said elsewhere, makes you “that guy” and you don’t want to be “that guy”, right? To avoid overkill, restrict yourself to a few tweets a week that blatantly promote your stuff, unless you can tie it into a blog post that has value other than just to sell something. And try to avoid copying and pasting a previous tweet…you need to be original in each tweet. Forget about the possible SEO implications in spamming people repeatedly with the same exact message and accompanying product link, think of your followers. You’re building trust, remember? Trust on Twitter means likable and (hopefully) a source on your topic that’s worth hearing.

This next bit is for businesses. Listen to me carefully: …give stuff away.

That’s right. Twitter is the place to give it away…now! Before someone else beats you to it. It can be anything from blog posts to PDF reports and ebooks to discounts on what you sell, freebies, contests, branded t-shirts and coffee mugs–whatever you think makes sense to walk someone down the purchasing aisle. But keep it real. Even if you’re doing business on Twitter, it should be fun and natural, like an in-person interaction.Since you’re now on your business soapbox, use hashtags or goodness sake! ( example: #CelticsTickets ) Hashtags are a way of notifying Twitter applications that someone is talking about that thing you want to promote, and directs them there. This can work for topics and whatever. It needn’t be business-related, and probably shouldn’t be as a rule, just to avoid being “that guy“.

The thing about social media is that its social, first and foremost. Mingle, add the people you connect well with (don’t bother to ask them first), network, joke, but you may want to keep it PG-13 if you’re smart. You never know who’s watching.

Once you get your legs, you may want to use monitoring tools like HootSuite to help you monitor not only who’s talking to you, but who’s saying what about you or your brand. Respond immediately and directly and try to keep your customers or prospects (or friends) engaged and happy with your company/you. The flip side of this is to prevent PR flubs that could really cost a big company lots of headaches! Friend-wise, the stakes might also be high if people are using twitter to connect family or friends and you’re in the clan.

People who more or less follow these guidelines will naturally get more followers, even without all the software or careful monitoring of their following tactics (which are all perfectly well and good and reasonable). Once you have the hang of it, check out my article on how to go in depth by master some wise tweeting habits.

Still here? Get out there and twingle, cowboy! [tweetmeme=”MarkBrimm”]

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Comments
  1. Ha-ha! Busted! 🙂 Clearly I need to get with the program. Thanks for this! Lots of good tips here!

  2. John Seville says:

    Good tweeting help. Its sad how much I needed this….

    • Mark Brimm says:

      Sadder still how many people are still tweeting how drunk they are and how much they hate their boss, how their going to take the day off tomorrow and go fishing, yada-yada-yada. 😛

  3. Sarah Johanson says:

    If I admit I don’t know how to even Tweet on Twitter, all my friends will laugh at me. 😦

    But you’ve provided enough tips for me to fake it for a while longer and learn more as I go. 🙂

    But I may f it up. 😦

    But I will be a step further down the road. 🙂

    But the road may be covered with upturned tacks. 😦

    But….but…but…okay I’ll try it. 😐

  4. R. J. says:

    Nice post! I’ve yet to commit to Twitter, so much food for thought. Thanks!

    • Mark Brimm says:

      Just make sure to be yourself and talk about what you care about, pass your passion on via RTs and hearty discussion (at least the passion associated with that particular profile). Of yeah, and if one profile doesn’t suit your multifaceted self, create a bunch, just don’t spam (I know you won’t). Oh, and did I mention that people hate spam. Well, people hate spam.

  5. Nice post. Good info for anyone who’s interested in Twitter, old or new.

  6. Adan High says:

    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

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