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Ever since I heard the word “Twitter“, I’ve been avoiding it. I’ve never been much of a fan of Facebook and I just figured that Twitter was like its ugly little stepchild. It also had something to do with the fact that I had to take the time to actually learn how to use it.

After some convincing from Jennifer Gerlock, a friend of mine, social media wiz, and co-owner of Want2Grow Marketing, I decided to change all that. I went to the library, checked out a book on how use Twitter, and set up my account. Yea, I should have done this a while ago…

At first, all the Twitter lingo was pretty confusing. Tweet, retweet, symbols like @ and #, hashtags, bit.ly, ow.ly, all looked like Chinese to me. As it turned out, I got the hang of it quickly and started enjoying the whole concept of Tweeting. It’s actually fun!!!

The Twitter Journey Begins….

The first thing I did was follow about 100 bloggers and Internet marketers I am familiar with. Then I tried to find as many people who have the same interests that I do and I followed them too.

As of today, I am following 535 people (most of whom are bloggers, job haters, or MMA enthusiasts) and managed to build my list of followers to around 270. My strategy for building a large following is to seek those people out who are:

  1. In the same niche that I am
  2. Have something interesting to say
  3. Have similar passions

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t quite understand the strategy of following every single person you possibly can. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that having 150,000 followers isn’t worth shit if only 7 of them actually care about what you are saying.

Maybe the mass follow strategy works for some like Guy Kawasaki, who has like 300,000 followers and sends out random tweets every few minutes, but it seems like a very long process and probably not worth the time. Personally, I would much rather have 500 people who want to hear from me rather than 10,000 random followers.

Also, from what I’ve seen, it seems like Twitter is 80% marketing and self-promotion and 20% interaction. If you want to build a successful Twitter marketing campaign (i.e. have people click your links), I would think you would need to spend the majority of your time focusing on that 20%.

Of course you will need to promote your site or business as well, but spending your time interacting with your followers seems like it would be the best use of your time. Not to mention that it’s highly annoying to see the endless stream of “check out this post” and “must read this” Tweets.

Also, given the fact that Tweets are rolling in every few seconds, it’s imperative that you write something interesting. Nobody has the time to read all their Tweets, especially with a large network, so you need to write something that stands out.

Also, it’s plainly obvious when someone is just sending out product promotions with no interest in actually conversing with their readers. Basically they are just spamming and are offering no real value. Doesn’t seem like a good way to build a business to me, but what do I know???

I honestly think that building relationships with your followers and those you follow is the #1 thing that you should focus on if you want Twitter to work for you. Read Tweets and respond. Don’t just post a link to your latest blog post or affiliate product every 30 minutes. Be a real person and offer insightful feedback.

If you have a blog or are looking to get your name out in cyberspace, I strongly suggest you start using Twitter. Don’t waste time thinking about it, do it right now!

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