Twitter truths

November 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Posted in social media | 6 Comments
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Truth is best.

Having just clocked 30,000 followers on Twitter, I felt I should report my learnings.

At first I thought I’d just cover basic stuff (e.g. who to follow, how to list, behaviours to avoid).

Then I realised Twitter ‘truths’ were far more important than Twitter ‘tips’.

It seems impossible such a simple (and apparently frivolous) application could impart wisdom, but there it is.

So here I go.

1.   Be yourself.

Genuine humans thrive in Twitter. Fakers, flooders and floggers (though infuriating) do get smacked down in due course.

This isn’t obvious to the casual observer, who understandably concludes Twitter is crap.

Yet when you open yourself to a community and reveal true elements of your life and loves, everyone enjoys the exchange.

Being yourself is also easier than maintaining a fake persona. As Mark Twain said: ‘When you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything’.

2.   Be open.

I began Twitter to get more copywriting clients. I achieved that and gained a suite of handy contacts, fascinating colleagues and loyal friends from sectors, countries and professions I never thought I’d encounter.

Because I was open to these people, they named me in magazines, featured me on blogs, recommended me to others and sent me a truckload of free ideas and information.

This rich, unexpected education has been amazing. I’ve seen and done things way beyond my expertise and comfort zone.

I feel stronger, safer and more mature as a result.

3.  Choose quality.

A thousand nameless fans aren’t as fun, useful or interesting as one genuine contact. Yes, I have 30,000 followers. No, I can’t interact meaningfully with them all.

I can, however, pick the gems from the dross and build real relationships with a few dozen kind, clever cats.

4.   Be generous.

I’ve long been a fan of the saying ‘you can’t give good away’. Twitter has shown me time and again this is true.

Online, the Law of Mutual Reciprocity is SO powerful, it needs BIG metaphor:

It’s like spitting out the window of a 300 km/h bullet train. Before you can blink, it comes back at you in a thousand irresistible fragments. Try it! (Online, I mean.)

5.   Focus.

If you straddle several chairs you’ll probably fall between them. It’s the same with social media.

You can’t possibly be good at LinkedIn and Facebook and blogging and YouTube and Flickr and Pinterest and Twitter … and all the others.

You’ll never see the sun!

Instead, check them all out, choose the one or two that feel right for you (and your clients) and spend time being open, genuine and generous there.

Twitter and blogging are my faves. The concerted effort I invest in these is well worth it.

Now it’s your turn …

Good luck!


Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire






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  1. 20,000 followers is quite a milestone, Paul – congratulations on having all that hard work and generosity paid off 🙂

    Blogging and Twitter are my faves, too – there are just too many platforms to be any good at all of them!

    Your experiences on Twitter may have made you feel safer, strogner and more mature – and that’s how you make your readers feel (well, me anyway). I wonder which came first?

    • Thank you, Tash. I can’t quite believe it myself. Then again, I have spent several hours a day for three years getting to this point. So perhaps there is justice in the world! It’s so heartening to hear that you feel I add value. I’m grateful to you for expressing the sentiment. Best regards, as ever, P. 🙂

  2. Great post Paul and congrats on such a massive milestone. Quality is more important than quantity but 20K is definitely worth a woohoo!

    Twitter has also given me so much more than I bargained for and it all began when I realised truth #1 and #2. I tweet from a business name so representing my business is important but when I began to relax and open up I got so much more in return. I reckon there’s a good rule for life in there!

    I might leave the spitting test for another day 😉

    PS It’s a real pleasure to know you and I’m always honoured when you share my content with your amazing network.

    • Thanks heaps, Belinda! Given I seldom socialise, it’s a marvel I share the orbits of so many souls. I’m glad you’re also digging the Twitter scene. I enjoy it very much when you cut loose. And your amazing content virtually shares itself. Thank YOU for being part of my amazing network. Kind regards, P. 🙂

      • Thanks Paul 🙂 I admire so many people I chat to online that I sometimes think to myself, I should be more like them in so many ways. I always strive for improvement while reminding myself that being me is ok too!

        • Well, it’s bloody-well working! I firmly believe you are kicking it in the ‘hood. 🙂

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