Social interactions on Twitter are a lot like a cocktail party (fyi, this is not an original thought). But what I’ve also noticed is that people who are successful on Twitter apply the same skills that a popular person at a cocktail party would: they’re interested in others, they listen, and they’re friendly. Since this seems crushingly obvious, let me turn this around and give some “what not to do” examples of Twitter/cocktail characters, who will not find themselves the belle of the ball:
- It’s all about me: This is the guy who constantly talks and tweets and tweets about himself (or herself). He won’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise, and when someone does manage to slip something in, he doesn’t listen. Borrrring. Sure you want to talk about yourself, but the majority of Tweets should be about other people – retweets, comments on what people have said, questions posed to other tweeters, etc.
- The wallflower: When you start out on Twitter, it’s natural to be an observer and not engage. I’ve been there, longer than I should have been. But there comes a point where you have to put on your party face and start chatting with strangers. Yeah, it’s a bit weird at first, but until you do it, you won’t start seeing rewards.
- The know it all: Closely related to “it’s all about me,” this Twitter style is a real turnoff. The fact is, in social media, no one knows it all. This world is constantly evolving so humility and humor go a long way. Besides, asking people questions and getting the opinions of others (though you don’t have to agree) is what keeps conversation flowing.
- Little Miss Negative: I once saw a bitter, knock-down Twitter fight and it was ugly – so ugly I stopped following those involved. In life, people like being around happy people and I think it’s true on social media as well. Try to keep it positive.
- Feast or famine: As the California lotto people say, “you can’t win if you don’t play.” If you’re not out there making the rounds (or tweeting) consistently, people won’t get to know you, you won’t get to know them, and isn’t getting to know others why you’re on Twitter in the first place? I often see people swing wildly between not tweeting for weeks and then posting a flurry of tweets all at once, clotting up the news feed. It just doesn’t work.