Twitter can be intimidating. Its mascot, the silly blue bird, reminded me of a china doll in a horror movie. I didn’t know what it was going to do to me or my business, but I knew I had to keep my eye on it. My anxiety centered on my cluelessness on what to say and have it read as witty.
After reading a few books and articles, I began to understand Twitter in a new way. It is a microblogging site and as an experienced blogger, this seemed doable. I usually post to my personal blog about once a week and to be noticed on Twitter you need at least three tweets a day. Even to an experienced writer this is intimidating.
When I wrote my first business book I surrounded myself with Forbes magazine and all things commerce. I researched for days, so, for Twitter, I did the same. Feeds were analyzed and read for clarity. Some were funny and others were lame. The ones I liked best were marketing themselves in a subtle way. In contrast, the ones that announced themselves like used carsalesmen turned me off.
Twitter feeds reminded me of the Emily Dickinson poem I read in high school.
“I’m Nobody! Who are you?”
Emily Dickinson, 1830 – 1886
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
I decided right away to make my feed as useful as possible. Out of my four tweets a day, one would be a pitch while the others had to be useful, even in the most mundane way. Simple things like the difference between You and Your. It may help someone or at least not sound like random croaking to the admiring bog.
My hard sells would be simple and to the point. I wanted to advertise my wares, but also be aware that I had to do this with dignity. One line of pitch should be enough once a day. If it still seems intimidating, just remember these three points:
Advice for Twitter Newcomers
1. Divide your expertise into seven topics.
I do schools, editing and several others.
2. Pick times to consistently tweet.
I dedicate my ten o’clock tweet to #newteachers for my guide on the first year of teaching.
3. Get familiar with Hootesuite.
This is a lifesaver and it is free!
Feel free to follow me @sirenpub where I dole out more advice three times a day. Good luck!