Twitter and the Two Questions

by Don Lafferty on January 18, 2008

“First I hadda get a MySpace, then Facebook was the place to be. Now you’re telling me I need to do what? Twitter? What the hell is Twitter?”

Exasperated and shaking his head, author and lecturer Jonathan Maberry clapped one of his massive paws to his forehead.

“And why? Why should I be Twittering?”

Here’s why.

Imagine could design a custom pipeline of information tailored to your specific interests and needs. Your pipeline would deliver a steady stream of brief, easily-to-process bits of information to your Twitter homepage in real time. No mailboxes to check, nothing to download, and you can jump in and out at your convenience.

That’s Twitter.

The first step to setting your strategy in the context of any online social network is to answer two simple questions:

What do I want to get out of my social network?

and

Why should others care about my involvement?

•  Do you want to sell books?
•  Find an agent?
•  Promote an article, seminar, product or blog?
•  Are you looking for interview subjects?
•  Trying to build platform?

Put some brain power into this part. Carefully consider your more bite sized objectives on the road to world domination.

Once you establish your overarching objectives, you’ve answered the first question.

You know why you’re there now.

But just because you’re on Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean others in the community are going to line up, care what you have to say and hand over what you want.

You gotta work it.

In other words, you get what you give, which brings us to the second part of the question.

Why should others care about my involvement?

The key to productive engagement in any of the online social networks is participation. Be prepared to share good stuff with your network, and pay attention to the stuff your network is sharing with you.

Enhance your Twitter network, don’t spam it.

It’s encouraged to mention that you’re picking the kids up from soccer, having scones for breakfast or running to catch a plane. A little personal can be a good thing.

It’s like a global cubicle farm for where you get to control what everybody else hears.

Again—the winning combination includes understanding your overarching objectives, having a plan to achieve them, and genuine engagement on some level.

I’ll get a lot more “nuts & bolts” by Sunday night. Have a great weekend, kids.

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