In this post, Wong Ching Ya discusses about twitter networking principles. She is well known for her expert reviews on various social media tools & services and possesses exceptional networking skills. You can also follow her on twitter. If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend subscribing to her blog.
People have been fervently writing about the fame of social media, especially Twitter. Ever since it took everyone by storm with its 140 characters of instant messaging, social networking has never been the same again.
We have heard many describing Twitter as their ultimate kit for successful online business, promotional tool, or even traffic magnet for blogs. No matter what niche you’re in, Twitter could be your ally but only if you know how to utilize it well. Having said that, let’s have a look at the 12 vital rules in Twitter networking:
#Rule 1: Dedication & Participation
For any social media, participation is the key to success. Dedicate your time to mingle with your contacts. Regularly taking part in discussion allows people to remember you among their 1000++ followers. Unable to tweet 24/7? At least try make up to 5-10 useful tweets each time, 4 days per week. In case you have difficulties to online for a few days, try scheduling your tweets beforehand using Hootsuite or TweetLater. Don’t be the ‘forgotten’!
#Rule 2: Honesty but Not Hostility
Imagine this: trying on a clothing you absolutely love, but the salesgirl simply blurted ‘you look fat in it’! An honest statement from one’s point of view yet the damage is done. I do believe a slight adjustment to the phrase might sound a lot better — ‘It doesn’t seem fit, perhaps we try another piece that may look better on you?’ Much better approach. Politeness is welcoming in a community. Although people do appreciate honesty, it does not give you the right to comment harshly, or being hostile with whoever you’re disagreeing with. Don’t let pride get in your way while networking. Be considerate. If you care about your network, you may like to go mild with the words you’re using.
#Rule 3: Don’t Take Offense or Oversensitive
People tend to follow/unfollow; like/dislike the tweets you shared. When I just started tweeting, I observed closely my twitter following status– who unfollowed me and why? Did I say something wrong?? Later I figured, it’s one of the most common phenomenon in Twitterverse. Try not to get oversensitive or too upset with it. Either the tweeting relationship didn’t work out, or they may have to sacrifice some of the less-communicative users so they could find like-minded tweeple to engage with. Sounds reasonable, but only if you’re proven innocent from being rude and self-centered.
#Rule 4: Use Desktop/Web Clients to Manage Your Contacts
Once the people you’re following increased exponentially, it’s impossible to track their updates effectively via Twitter official site. Third party applications such as desktop clients are well equipped with grouping ability, well columnized layout for easy tweet-tracking, real time updates and instant notification of replies/direct messages. As for web clients, they could be accessed anywhere, anytime! How convenient is that! Organize your contacts asap before they get buried underneath heavy public timeline.
#Rule 5: Be proactive & Responsive
Many benefits we could gain via ‘listening’: real-time info that comes with link and allowing us to be initiator in chat activities. Be responsive and make conversations that matters. Show people you’re not a mechanical tweeter android, but a normal human being with feelings. Let them know you care and ready to help if possible. Even if your approach didn’t win you a reply after several engagings, needless to feel depressed as well. Either it’s not the time yet, or it’ll never come to you. Move on! Ever heard of ‘When a door closes, another opens’?
#Rule 6: Know Your Twitter Branding – Personal or Niche
Not trying to sound cliché but personal branding matters a great deal in Twitter. It’s the reason why we are advised to treat our Twitter profile seriously, fill up the ‘keywords’ as accurately as possible. If you’re a designer who wishes to get connected with other designers, nothing is going to help much unless you made it obvious in your Twitter profile, and timely tweets. A person who loves photography yet tweet about marketing all over the place is a turn-off for other like-minded photographers, which is why one may experience drastic drop of followers if he did so. Advisable to have separate accounts if you intending to have 2 major interests shared massively on Twitter.
#Rule 7: Follow Or UnFollow? – Let Your Instinct Decides
There’s no right or wrong in this area, in fact more to personal judgement. Personally I’m not a supporter for mass-follow/unfollowing using applications. I prefer to decide personally, not relying on emotionless software to do it. Some people are worth to follow even they don’t follow back. There’s so much more than just a numbers game. Treat your contact list seriously and emphasis on quality connections. For someone who’s a non-marketer, I don’t mind getting marketing tweets, as long they are inspiring and mind provoking. I enjoy knowledge from various niches, and I don’t think any software could gauge who I shall follow besides my instinct.
#Rule 8: Be Giving
We all love nice people with kind hearts. Since we’re on social networking, if you wish others to treat you the same, why not start by being one? Although we need to get reminded constantly — never expect anything in return. Helping out others by answering questions; providing comfort for those in need; recommend a new acquaintance to your existing Twitter friends etc. Those are just the least things you could do in Twitter. Sincerity is the solid foundation of all relationships, even social networking.
#Rule 9: Don’t Force Yourself
Despite we should be helpful, you don’t have to ‘force’ yourself into doing something you don’t feel comfortable with. For example, if someone asks you to tweet ‘help tweet this link, it will gain you 50,000,000 followers!’, not knowing where this link redirects to, or how legitimate it is, it’s alright to decline politely. You are responsible for your own actions, and no one shall ever trick or force you into ‘helping’ in anything you’re not sure of.
#Rule 10 : Reasonable – Be Selective with the RTs
There’s always a line to be drawn in any cases, even Retweets. Whether an RT is meant for sharing outstanding content or doing one a favor, bear in mind that not everybody will appreciate a page full of RTs. Why just targeting the hot, popular tweets which already have 500++ hits? Unless you’re a trendy-tweet collector, or an affiliate for tweetmeme or some sort, bare in mind that not many are enthusiastic to see the same newsflash over and over again. And repeating the same tweet more than 10 times in a day is unbearable. Dislike been nagged? Well, that’s just what you’re doing to your followers.
#Rule 11: Don’t Stop, Continue the Networking Elsewhere
In case 140 characters are not enough, do continue your networking with others via social media sites like Facebook or blogs. The connection shouldn’t stop at Twitter. You should prolong and enhance the friendship by keeping the conversations going from time to time. That’s how I get to know some of the nicest blogger friends. Blog serves as a networking hub. So, make sure you’ve worked on the red carpet for your blog visitors with quality content, and responsive comments at all times.
#Rule 12: Be Yourself
Some people look cool to follow for their personalities. You could learn, but shall never attempt to impersonate someone you’re not. No lies or exaggerations involved. By being authentic, you’ll find comfort and ease of mind while communicating. It enhances your personal branding and confidence. People can recognize you easily. So what if you’re not the most famous guy/girl in the block? Many would still appreciate your authenticity for being the real YOU.
How about you? What is your rule in Twitter Networking? Kindly share with us your opinion in the comment.
You can connect with Wong Ching Ya on various social media sites. She is very much active on Facebook and StumbleUpon.