In a recent post reasons why I tweet, shouldn’t you?, I outline the five benefits I get from twitter. That has not changed. What has changed is the way I tweet and who I follow. When I first started tweeting, I found it overwhelming, yet fascinating, and was addicted before I knew what was happening, following anyone who would follow me back. I spend months trying to figure out this “twitter thing” and spent much of that time sitting on the sidelines as a spectator. I soon had a loyal following – but found the information that was being shared did not hold my interest. Then I got smart about it.
I started targeting and connecting with people in my field. In my case, it was PR professionals and agencies along with a handful of media outlets and individual journalists. Since the majority of my work is limited to the National Capital Region, I started targeting those who were Ottawa based. Why not? After all, I advise my clients to target their messaging and media lists – why should this be any different, right?
The result… I get targeted feeds about my industry with content that’s not only interesting to me, but educational and have started engaging with these individuals. (Yes, there are real human beings behind each tweet). I’m not suggesting to limit your social networks just to your own backyard. I do follow those who are outside my immediate region and area of expertise, as long as they also emulate my outside interests.
I have now embraced this micro-blogging phenomenon almost at the same lightning speed that it has grown. I read the following quote recently that struck me… “It’s like being plugged into hundreds of twitter users instead of having handful of colleagues on speed dial” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve built small following, (compared to some of the people listed below), by obeying five basic twitter principals (via @skydiver).
1) I don’t blatantly self-promote my business.
2) I post links of interest and links of value.
3) I don’t waste people’s time with repetitive posting, or tweets that serve no purpose.
4) I don’t double or triple post.
5) When re-tweeting, I give credit where credit is due.
There are some really brilliant and creative individuals on twitter that add value to what I do. I truly appreciate receiving insightful content and learning from individuals that I consider experts in their field. Here is a small list of those who provide me with a fresh perspective, inspiration and have helped me connect the dots along the way…
There are a number of others I could mention here, but these people, in particular, were big influencers when I was taking twitter for a test drive. If you have your own list of users who inspired you to twitter greatness, please feel free to share them here. If you are not tweeting, I encourage you to visit twitter and click on the “Join the conversation“. If you are already a user and currently not following @storyline, why not connect and share your own 140 character short story!