Finding your unique voice on Twitter

Twitter is an acquired taste. If Facebook is checkers, then Twitter is chess. It’s the VIP room to MySpace‘s open house party, the platform with almost direct access to celebrity’s biggest and brightest entertainers, to politicians, brands and thought leaders, it’s undoubtedly the juggernaut driving today’s social media. And I do mean, literally, “today’s”.

There’s probably another platform on the rise in some kids dorm room as I type this –TwitMySquareFace — or something of the ilk. But, right now, if you want to sit at the cool kid’s table and not be the elephant in the room, then here’s a few tips to getting it right:

1. Sign up and follow as many people as possible
Twitter is social media, so dive in and follow, follow, follow. It may seem cool to have a high number of followers yet only follow a small number of people — but the truth is that just takes away from the experience.The more unique Tweeters you follow, the more varied viewpoints and experiences you are able to absorb. Eventually your interaction with these people will lead to you finding the online circle that you trust.

Make the circle bigger…again, it’s social media. Unless they are still dragging their knuckles in the Facebook jungle, you’ll find some of your more highly evolved friends have made the switch.
Seek out these early adopters and interact, then expand. The interwebs encircle the globe. Think of it as having pen pals all over the planet. It’s like band camp without the mosquitoes.

3. The Art Of Interaction
This is where most get Twitter wrong. No-one wants to hear about your most mundane actions. The most highly sought-after icons of pop culture have been known to commit Twittercide by boring their fans to death while divulging their daily musings combined with bad grammar, awful spelling, and incessant 140 character rants.

The key is to post content — pictures, links, music, interesting news stories, what have you. Think about Twitter as a big cocktail party. You want to be the person with the ability to quote from Voltaire, show pictures of your alien abduction and inform with unique well-supported viewpoints of the daily headlines – NOT the obnoxious megalomaniac who considers the corn in his morning bowel movement engaging dinner conversation.

4. Unique Voice
Twitter may teach you more about yourself than you may be ready to learn. You’ll notice that people who you considered less popular, half as smart and substantially more unattractive than you, sometimes have more followers than you. Yes, it’s a blow to your ego but don’t be tempted to go back to your Facebook ways and post an avatar with your shirt off.
Rather find your unique twitter voice.

Twitter is an exercise in brand building. So ask yourself “Who am I?” Are you the gossip king or queen? Are you the tech guru? The wedding DJ? The son of a grumpy old man who breaks your balls on the regular? Whatever your niche may be, allow it to become your Twitter personality. Of the 200 or so billion tweets out there in the Twitterverse, there’s bound to be more than a few people driving in your lane. So be sure to signal!

Remember at the end of the day, it’s not about the size of your followers, it’s about how you influence them.

Anything you do well took you a while to get there. The key is to never give up. You probably won’t get Twitter right at first. In fact most people give up after their first couple of tries. So if you want to make it in big brother’s brave new world, then an understanding of social media is a plus. Just remember, it’s not a game. There are no losers. Be yourself.



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