I hadn’t seen @loadedlola in about a month and, when I last saw her, I had persuaded her to look into Twitter. Obviously she did or I wouldn’t be able to link her page here, but she posted only 5 times and then drifted away. I think that’s probably pretty common. When I saw her today, I asked her about it.
She explained that no one she knows is on Twitter and she doesn’t really watch TV or follow celebrities, so she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. That got me to thinking. I see this as my fault; I pushed her to the gates of Twitter and expected that she’d be able to find its awesomeness on her own without a map or any guidance. How soon I forgot how I got started with Twitter.
My first answer is,
“There are celebrities, and there are celebrities.”
There are people like @AlySSa_miLAno1 who are famous from TV and moviesâ€”those are the people the paparazzi stalk around Hollywood. But every field of endeavor has its own celebrities who are well known and loved by the others in their category, but are not household names anywhere else. I follow bloggers, artists, scientists, magicians, fictional characters, cartoonists, software developers, journalists, and all kinds of other types of celebrities. Try to think of the heroes of your favorite subject. There’s a good chance many of these people are probably on Twitter tooâ€”search for their namesâ€”find themâ€”follow them.
Once you find a few interesting people to follow, be patient, watch to see who they @mention and have a look at each of their follow lists. You’ll want to read these with a mind to follow more people. You’re following your heroes; now follow your hero’s heroes. Soon you’ll have quite an impressive collection of people whose tweets will enrich your Twitter experience by tailoring its content to your interests. You don’t have to read every post like an email in your inbox that requires a response before your life can be complete. Relax and enjoy what you do read and let the rest slide by. This a place where you may have that “a ha” moment and have an inkling of why Twitter is so meaningful to people.
But how do you get more people to follow you? It’s all fun reading about what other people are doing and thinking, but when do you get a chance to let your voice be heard? How do you get to the place where you can tweet out something profound and 5 people will retweet it and another 7 or so will @mention you in reply?
For this I have another truism:
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
In other words, spend some time retweeting and @mentioning the people you follow when they post something worthy of comment.
If you consider the word “remarkable,” it means exactly what it should mean; something or someone worthy of mention. When someone you follow says something remarkable, make a remark and make sure you format the tweet so that you include their @username or that you format your retweet properly. Also, if someone you follow is having a problem and needs an answer to a question they’ve tweeted out, try to answer it. @mentions and retweets are gold on Twitter and will mean a lot to the person you honor with them.
Once you’ve spend some time giving to your community in the form of conversational participation, @mentions and retweets, you will become well known within that circle and people will begin to follow you because you’ve proven to be remarkable yourself.