At first, I thought Twitter was foolish, then, I tried it and became enamored. About six months later, I lost all respect for Twitter. A few months more, and I can finally see its strengths and weaknesses in balance.
The strengths are pretty easy – meet and interact with new people that interest you, market yourself, get to know your "friends" better, know what’s going on right now and eavesdrop on conversations you’d never be privileged to hear in any other setting.
What’s the downside? Here is my five step plan for entrepreneurs to entrap themselves in bad karma with Twitter:
5. Get in the race. Follow thousands of people indiscriminately
- because when they follow you back and you have more followers than
you could ever read, you’ll be powerful, your websites will overflow
with traffic and success will be yours.
4. Pump out crap. Write shallow stuff, better yet, let’s call it crap. Let us know when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store… promote your websites incessantly with any exaggerations that come to mind… tell us about your sports team… It’s easy and as long as your follow count is rising, it’s working, right?
3. Be clever. Use the same enigmatic titles that work best on your blog. Use lots of twitter jargon that shows how
hip you are. Share lots of cool stuff that doesn’t really have any
meaning for you. Create a reputation!
2. Snub your customers, partners, or employees if necessary. If you haven’t replied to business e-mails that have been waiting in your inbox but need to spend time Twittering about your favorite TV show or your favorite sports team – forget about your e-mails. Your twitter followers will forget about you faster and they need you more. The guys waiting for your e-mails might not be watching your twitters anyway.
1. Scratch your bellybutton faster. You need to spend more than a couple minutes everyday on Twitter if you want to hit the big time! Send out messages to everyone that follows you saying something like "thanks for the follow, I look forward to reading your tweets". Whatever you were doing before you found Twitter could not have been very productive… things like concentrating, reading blogs or books, thinking, or -god forbid- listening — all a waste of time if they don’t grow your followership. So keep your eye on the ball and don’t get distracted by the little stuff!
And yep, I’ve probably done all these things and if I have missed any - there’s always tomorrow. I’m keeping in mind what Andrew Keen says "most people don’t have talent"… I won’t expect to have thousands of followers. In the meantime, thanks for following me, it’s great to connect with you. Tweet you later!
Okay seriously, the bottom line for me – an entrepreneur’s job is to be constantly learning from people that are
more experienced or smarter. You can’t be building an inner
circle of smart dynamic advisors at the same time you are jockeying for
thousands of Twitter followers (unless you pay someone else to twitter for you). Quantity or quality, you choose.
Personally, I place the highest value on the conversations that I have in private places
with a handful of accomplished or bright peers. For me that means
mostly invitation-only forum and instant messenger.
Nevertheless, popularity counts and is growing in importance every day for the very simple reason that Google cannot distinguish between quality and popularity. So, it’s up to every one of us to search for the right balance.
So what bugs you about Twitter?
Enjoy the shows:
Andrew "most people don’t have talent" Keen: