Learn about Twitter A friend of mine VanGogh(1) (yup the famous one-eared artist and renowned web developer at Van SEO Design) turned me on to Twitter a while back and I blame him for the inordinate amount of time I have been spending twittering away my time late at night getting to know many new people in the ever expanding twitterverse.

After waaay too many hours reading through Tweets, I am convinced that a large number of Twitterers really have very little idea how to use Twitter to their benefit. Even many supposedly technically savvy Twitterers seem to think Twitter is nothing more than a bragging tool to let everyone know what they are currently doing so others can drool along behind them admiring their every tweet. That may work with a few celebrities, but who’s really interested when we’re “off to the club to have tea with @snooty and @snotty daahhling”? or “I just finished attending this hugely expensive seminar – cost me $12K but it was worth it baby”.

I’m sure the coffee tasted great at the high dollar cafe and the seminar must have been wonderful and filled with excellent information – but how did those particular tweets benefit anyone reading them? All they did were inform followers about…well, nothing…except their schedule and how much money they spent. Very important information if you need some good gossip info. I guess you could argue that the tweets were informative to those who cared…

People who have boring lives sometimes follow these types of Tweets because it’s a bit like reading a Tabloid. “WOW! I wonder what Britney Spears is up to today?” And to be fair, that may be just the types of followers they are looking for – what I like to call “tworshippers” or twabloid tweeters. It may be their intent to draw these exact type of followers and lead them straight to the next expensive seminar or shoe sale at Saks. Yes – even these types of Tweeters have their place, I guess.

The main point here is: unless you are seeking twabloid traffic you must be a GIVER not a BRAGGER. Just driveling along throwing out self-centered information that is of little or no value to your followers will get you dropped fast by most followers (and deservedly so IMHO). Most thinking Tweeters want information that falls into one of the following categories (and let’s make no mistake – these are the main reasons they are probably following you):

  • useful or helpful to them
  • fun or entertaining
  • interesting, controversial or topical

One example of how to be a celebrity and do it right would be @jimmyfallon. I love following Jimmy because there is no way he could ever tweet back at all his 30,000+ followers (although it looks like he tries sometimes) but he offers them something more than just the “here I am today daahhling” gibberish. Recently when he went to the Superbowl he tweeted back a couple links to images before the event so everyone could see what he was experiencing. Not in an arrogant way but in a sharing way. He didn’t say “I’m at the Superbowl in famous persons box drinking champagne looking over the 50 Yard line”. None of that. He just sent back a few cool images as he went in so his Tweet followers could enjoy some of the experience with him. Nice guy. He often does similar things and I think @jimmyfallon “gets it” when it comes to Tweeting. He cares about his followers and wants his Tweetfriends to enjoy what he is doing with him.

So take a page from Jimmy’s note book and a few other successful Tweeters. CARE ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWERS! People know when you are putting on airs or talking down to them. Let them know what you know, share with your followers and they will give back. More importantly, they will keep following you and recommend you to others. That is what Twitter is all about!

So long fellow Tweeters. Tweet you later on Twitter!

A few other cool Tweeters you may get a kick out of following:

@JohnCleese (if you don’t know John Cleese you are not a Monty Python fan and are to be pitied)
@Chumworth (writes Jokes for David Letterman – Hilarious)
@StephenFry (over 160,000 followers? Learn from this guy)

(1) By the way, VanGogh (aka Steve) also has a great Small Business Forum should you decide you need a bit of advice about starting up or growing a small business to the next level.

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