by Jane Anderson, Featured Contributor
I’VE READ COUNTLESS ARTICLES and several books discussing the merits and strategies of Twitter use, but this one stands out as thorough coverage of every aspect of joining the Twittersphere. Germany Kent expertly advises on everything from creating an attention grabbing profile to engaging your audience, to using proper Twittequette, to measuring the success of your Twitter stream. In this book discover how to enhance your online presence, protect your reputation, what to do when results are not what you expected, and how to turn your Twitter use into a source for learning and positive influence.
From the beginning of her book, Kent recognizes that the world of social media is dynamic and pushes more at us than our minds can absorb. If overwhelm is a word that describes your experience with social media this book is for you. Through it readers are taught how to use the powerful platform of social media to discover how to share their individuality through self-expression.
I was skeptical when I saw the subtitle of this book that implied that I could learn Twitter and have a happier, healthier life. Really? Well, yes. Really! Twitter is a gold mine for communicating and education. If you think you’re a good communicator now, Twitter will make you better. You have to get your message across in 140 characters or less. Through Twitter you can connect with and interact with the world. This book encourages you to follow people and businesses whose interests match yours and this book has information about the need for a healthy mind, body and spirit while reaching a place of greater awareness. There is no value in tweeting as a remedy for boredom. This book will teach you the tenets of the tool which facilitates self-awareness so you can extend that awareness to the Twitterverse in your own unique voice.
The world is on Twitter and you should be too if you want to express yourself and have a chance to be noticed. The web is a central platform for social media. Where else can you publish your thoughts and have them instantly visible to potentially thousands of followers? It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s interactive. Establish yourself as an honest, authentic source of information others trust and want to follow.
Keep this in mind. In person there is etiquette, on Twitter there is Twittequette. When tweeting out information from your area of expertise or interest, when sharing your opinions, remember your manners. Online audiences are just that. They are online, invisible, and human. They, as well as you, have perceptions, beliefs, and emotions all bundled up behind a Twitter handle. Think before you tweet. Apply the Twitter Golden Rule. Participate, but be mindful and courteous. Feedback is the backbone of mutual understanding. Through Twitter you can reply, mention, favorite, retweet and quote what others have tweeted. You can make someone’s day and they can make yours.
Twitter Strategy – Let’s keep it simple. Three “E”s covers the elementary purpose of Twitter: Educate, Entertain, evoke Emotion – What role do you see yourself in as you immerse yourself in the use of Twitter? Germany Kent gives you a list of possibilities such as “Introduce new ideas and offer expertise” and “Influence others” and “Gain a broader perspective” but those are just a few suggestions. Through experiential use of Twitter you will learn to clarify, simplify and add vitality to your tweets. One goal might be to develop content that will inspire and encourage your readers.
It’s bound to happen. The more intrigued you become with Twitter, the more you bring people together, the more subjects you discuss, the greater the prospect that challenges will find you. Mistakes will be made, and you’ll find that you’ve been thrust into the perfect storm. Conflict will occur at some point so you need to have a strategy in advance for overcoming adversity. A setback is not a stay back. You can survive it and in fact you can overcome adversity and reach new heights. The author shows you techniques for turning mistakes around to get you back to engaging your audience and tweeting every single day.
Who do you tweet you are? That happens to be the title of Chapter 5 and it’s a direct call to action for knowing what you want to project through your life on social media. Your Twitter profile is your business card, your ‘mini-resume’. I have never seen such a complete set of profile examples as Kent included in her book. “Social media can be great for your image if you utilize it in an effective manner.” What persona are you trying to project with your Twitter profile? Humor, playful, purposeful, direct, mysterious, inspiring, spiritual – remember to give your role on Twitter some thought as you create your profile. What do you want it to say about you?
We all want to become more creative, don’t we? Just like all other media, social media is all about content. The difference with social media is that it never quits, it’s instant, and changes in a split second. The more creative your content the more engaged your audience will be. You can retweet and share content for part of the equation, but you need to share your own creative voice too. The chapter Encourage Creative Flow is a powerhouse of guidance on how to improve the quality of your content and the likelihood that it will inspire your readers and improve your odds of gaining more followers.
The way you think has an immeasurable effect on how you act. This is an important truth to keep in mind every time you choose to post a Tweet or anything to social media. Be conscious of what you type and check your motives and your message before you click post. Stay positive online, even if the subject you share isn’t bathed in optimism. What tone does your message convey? Keep learning about yourself. One of the best things about being social on Twitter is that you are the master of your own fate. Germany Kent offers a chapter filled with other success factors but here are just a few items she suggests to contribute to your online success. Gain wisdom. Don’t personalize everything. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. Share your knowledge. Read between the lines.
Strive for balance to reach your audience. Have a good mix of helpful information, fun, and inspiration. Your first step in getting people to follow you is to know who you are to begin with. If you don’t know, read the chapter and do activities as described in ‘Setbacks prepare you for comebacks’. There’s enough here to get your influence flowing on Twitter and other social media platforms. Remember who you are and your objectives.
Word Power: Say something worthwhile and people will listen! Isn’t that why we invest in social media to begin with? An added adventure in this chapter is the revealing of the effective #Hashtag ‘why’ and ‘what’. You don’t have to professional writer to make an impact on Twitter. What you do need is to have ideas, feelings and positive intentions. Kent offers a profusion of helpful tips in her book. Marketing your business lives on your Twitter timeline.
Nobody wants to follow a boring Tweeter. Learn to create inspired tweets and how to pack your Twitter timeline with intriguing content. Read this chapter; no, don’t just read it. Absorb the information in this chapter because it is key to creating and engaging, interesting, even exciting timeline that people will want to follow. How do you attract readers? How do you build an audience? How do you focus? These are all covered in the chapter on managing your timeline.
Have you heard the old cliché, “Attitude determines your altitude?” As it turns out, the attitude you project on Twitter or over social media as a whole has an effect on the quality of your followers. It’s really up to you to provide the content you think is important to share. You might be an expert in conflict resolution, you might be a savvy shopper, you might have vast knowledge about controversial topics, you might be a world traveler, you might have a passion for building fledgling businesses. Whatever your background, wherever your interests lie, there is an audience waiting to hear your story and learn from your perspectives.
Germany Kent says, “Anyone can become a Twitter influencer. Go out and start creating.” She offers a list of adventurous topics that you might gravitate toward. Use photos and enticing captions ‘tweets’ to draw your audience in. From something as simple as your experience at a new restaurant you can’t wait to revisit, Scuba diving, or your views of a Broadway show or movie. Start somewhere, but start. The more creative you are, the more creative you become.
A few tips as this review comes to an end:
- Market your Twitter account everywhere – webpage, blog, email, written material, business card
- Retweet when someone tweets your stuff. Tweak it to get more retweets.
- Keep your feed going – favorite or retweet messages from someone else’s timeline.
- Don’t get discouraged, give up, or settle for less because something didn’t turn out as expected. Keep going!
If you’re not sure that investing in becoming an expert in Twitter or developing a strategy is worth the effort, listen to this impressive statistic. “There is an average of 100 million daily Twitter users and an annual revenue of more than 405 million in advertising alone.” So if you weren’t convinced before, maybe you will reconsider that “Twitter is a power-house for you to build your brand, be seen, and be heard.”
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