If I had a nickle for every time I heard that from a friend or client I could write this blog full time. ;-)
So often Twitter newbies fall into the trap of thinking that if they just show up, things will happen. It is understandable. If you follow the some of the more high profile Twitterati, you see lots of tweets and tons of @reply tweets from people talking to the person on Twitter. You see a ton of tweets from the Twitterati responding to others, helping others, answering questions and just having everyday "how are you Joe" kinds of conversations. They're the life of the party.
While at the same time, you're looking at your @reply column like a schoolgirl waiting for the phone to ring after meeting and falling all over her guy crush. And like that phone, the @reply alarm doesn't ring.
So what do you do?
There are lots of theories out there, many written by those far smarter than me, but here is my two cents - you can decide what it's worth.
Be a conversation starter. Don't wait to be talked to, go start talking. For the next couple of weeks, try some of these tactics:
- Those smart people you are following and reading -- ask them a smart, insightful question about a recent blog post they wrote or shared.
- See a tweet with a link and associated point-of-view you disagree with, politely engage the Tweeter in a little debate. Most of us welcome that kind of banter.
- Say good morning and hello to people you follow and who follow you. Nothing special, just a little tweet to say hello -- I see you -- you matter in my world and I'd love to chat today.
- RT those you follow when they share smart links, content and especially charitable causes. You'll usually get a thank you and an opp to engage further if you so choose to.
- Use Twitter search. Pick topics you care about and/or know something about. Then when you see folks you can help either directly or by RT'ing, do so. For instance, because I do a lot of professional speaking I have a constant search on Twitter for "looking for speaker." I often find folks that are looking for speakers for events I either can't do or am a poor match for...but I RT those tweets and ask my 7,000+ followers if any of them can help. Needless to say, it usually starts a conversation or at least gets a "THANKS" tweet.
- Get Twitter on your mobile. You'd be surprised how many times during the day you get five minutes and really don't have anything to do... if you have your mobile and a Twitter client, you can pop on, scan for peeps or conversations and jump in or just say hello.
- Go find TwitterChats and participate. I still think this is one of the best ways to meet and engage new people. I personally have made a number of good friends and contacts from this approach.
What it all boils down to IMHO is that Twitter used to be like a small town. Today it's far more like a large city. It's easy to get lost in a large city unless you join a club or find a neighborhood bar. So go find that club and bar on Twitter. You'll get a lot more out of Twitter and have a ton more fun.
But like I said, there are lots of thoughts on this subject. What do you think? What is your silver Twitter bullet to engage in more conversations?Tweet
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