Wow! What a response to the Twitter Manifesto I posted last time. I’m very grateful to the hundreds of people that ReTweeted it. It became one of the most ReTweeted posts in the world, and even made the front page at Retweetist. Lots of other blogs picked it up and linked to it as well.
If I would have known that it was going to generate so many thousands of visitors and links, I probably would have titled it more appropriately. Although I have to give mad love to @SherKro who actually called it the “What Not to Wear” in Twitterville when she ReTweeted it. Boy am I pissed I didn’t think of that.
More than 100 of you posted comments below it, with some great insights as well. My post was not meant to be a complete how to work with Twitter tutorial. But a lot of the comments have helpful details on all that, like how to use hash tags and other applications. If you haven’t already, read through them for some good information.
Here is some other follow up information that may help you as well…
I got a couple people chastising me for being a Twitter snob, because I don’t follow back everyone that follows me. Guilty as charged. Even Eric Worre made a tweet yesterday saying that he thought people who do this are arrogant and no one is that important. But I think he was probably imbibing a little too much of @garyvee’s beverage offerings!
Now I know there is a school of thought that you should follow everyone that follows you, and I’ve heard this Twitter snob knock before. But if you are an author, speaker, celeb or other very visible person, this just isn’t practical. And it doesn’t have anything to do with me being a snob or arrogant - not that I’m denying being either.
I got 700 new followers Friday alone. On a slow day now, I’m adding 300 or 400 a day, and I’m really just getting started on all this. If I follow all those people, I would need a staff of ten just to screen through the tweets. And the truth is, it doesn’t make any sense for them or me. Some of those profiles deal exclusively with college scholarships (which I don’t need, since I’m a HS dropout and rich), Christmas decorations (which I don’t do, since I’m such a bitter, demented person), and a shocking number are devoted exclusively to coffee (which I don’t drink). There are profiles devoted to soap operas, motherhood, and printed in languages I can’t even read. And that’s not even taking into account the vacuous twits, MLM morons, or other terminally boring people I mentioned in the first manifesto.
Now I’m on TweetDeck and I could easily follow everyone following me, and lead those woeful souls to think I’m reading their tweets, even though I’m filtering them out. But I’d rather just be honest about it.
Now for some of you, following everyone that follows you may make sense...
If the numbers aren’t too daunting, you’re looking to meet lots more people, or you’re trying to assuage feelings of insecurity by amassing lots of online friends, go for it. The purpose of my original post was on the most profitable ways to monetize web 2.0 sites. And since I’m such a money-grubbing capitalist, I wrote about the best way I know to do that.
In the last week I’ve received gorgeous four-color catalogs in the mail from a company offering cigars & humidors, and mail order wine. Both were very well done, with great copy and good layout. But I don’t smoke or drink, so no matter how much money they spend or how effective they design these catalogs, they are still wasting their money mailing them to me.
Now it doesn’t “cost” you anything to follow people and there’s no doubt that some will follow you, just because you follow them. And there are many on Twitter that just follow hundreds of people a day, figuring a good percentage will automatically follow them back. And that will add to your numbers. @guykawasaki follows 80,000 and 75,000 follow him back.
If you build a huge follower base and start tweeting about anything and everything, you’ll get ReTweeted more often and that will get your page out there and you’ll pick up yet more followers. So I’m not saying it doesn’t work. It’s just not something I’m interested in doing. But if you want to, knock yourself out.
I’m an old school direct marketer that still believes it’s all about the list. And I would always opt for a tightly targeted niche that I can reach easily, with information that makes sense for them. And having a smaller list does allow me to actually read and interact with my followers in a meaningful way for both of us.
Some other useful info you should know…
A lot of my newsletter and blog readers have joined Twitter in the last week at my urging and you’re sorting through how to use it. Lesson one is look at the column on the right for the lines that say “@Replies” and “Direct Messages.” I was on twitter for a month before I noticed them and had a bunch of people trying to communicate directly with me. BTW, found a snazzy little blog post on how to best use the reply feature at: http://is.gd/lrzo
Be sure and follow @Mike_Wesely and watch his videos at http://twittalk.tv/ You’ll find this very helpful to getting up to speed fast. Just start jotting down any questions you have, and then ask them in the chat during his show. He offers some other resources as well.
Also follow @derekhalpern and see his “Ultimate Twitter Resource” at http://prevential.com/twitter-tips/ There’s enough good stuff there to keep you hunkered over your computer getting repetitive strain injuries for weeks.
Finally, I told you about TwitterGrader last time. Two things I should mention: Their scores definitely skew to the generous side. So as Hans Solo said, “Don’t get cocky kid.” (They also have a website grader that is VERY helpful.)
There is another service that will rate your effectiveness on Twitter called the twitalyzer. They were being overrun and having technical issues when I wrote the first post, so I didn’t include them. They sucked it up now and are working rad, so try them out here:
Don’t get suicidal when you see your score, they’re very tough, and you’re only as good as the day you play the ballgame. But it will give you a good idea on the best ways to make an impact on Twitter.
Okay kids, that’s all for now. Happy Twittering, and Peace out, Cub Scout.