You're Doing It Wrong
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Umm… You’re Doing It Wrong

If you have a habit of following people on Twitter, waiting till they follow you back, then promptly unfollowing them… YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Two days ago, I was followed by two different digital marketing “experts.” I checked out their profiles, and they each seemed interesting, so I followed them back. The very next day I was unfollowed by both of them.

I hadn’t tweeted anything “controversial” in the 24 hours they were following me, so I knew that wasn’t the reason for the unfollow.

Then it dawned on me – these people only followed me to get me to follow them back. LAME. That’s not how any of this works!

That kind of behavior speaks volumes… It shows a lack of credibility, authenticity, and confidence. It also shows a lack of strategy, along with a basic understanding about how the platform works.

Here’s how you SHOULD be doing it:

  1. Peruse Twitter for interesting people.
  2. Follow them.
  3. Create your own interesting tweets and use hashtags for discovery.
  4. If people like them and/or find them valuable, they will follow you.
  5. THAT’S IT.

Wondering how to find interesting people to follow?

  • Check out who some of your favorite tweeters are following.
  • Take a look at the lists of other tweeters.
  • Search for subject matter experts by name.
  • Track down your favorite authors through search.
  • Click on some of your favorite hashtags and see who is tweeting about those subjects.

A few other things to remember…

Don’t automate. Anything. EVER.
Might make things easier for you, but automated tweets, retweets, and DMs (direct messages) are impersonal and annoying.

It’s about conversation.
If you are just tweeting your own stuff and not ever responding to anyone else’s, or not responding to people reaching out to you, you are missing the conversational element of the platform. You’re just talking. No listening. What makes Twitter unique is the opportunity for conversation, which means often you should seek out people to converse with about things you care about.

Don’t feed the trolls.
There are a lot of people on Twitter who thrive on getting other people riled up. Don’t engage with them.

It’s perfectly OK to have an opinion.
Don’t shy away from having an position on something and taking a stance. Not everyone will agree with you. And that’s OK. You can always learn something from discussion with people who don’t agree with you, as long as the discourse is respectful. If it is not, please see #3.

Don’t get discouraged.
Unless you are a Kardashian or Justin Beiber, you have to remember that not every tweet is going to get a response. In fact, many of your tweets won’t. If you are posting just to see how many interactions you can get, then you are doing it wrong – please see #2.

Any tips that should be included here that I missed?

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