26 Keys to Twitter Success

\ Twitter Whether teacher or learner, Twitter is an invaluable tool in your personal learning network. I've found the following lessons key to having a successful Twitter Experience. I believe that Twitter will become a mainstream tool in both business AND education in the coming year, and we would all by wiser if we join in the conversation.

  1. Active – Many folks give up on Twitter way too early! Actively participating, even when you don't fully get it, is the only way Twitter will make sense.This means being active both as a listener and as "Tweeter".
  2. Be Honest - Share what you know, share what you don't, ask for what you need, and give what you promise. The more transparent and authentic you are, the more respect you will get.
  3. Click – Click before you tweet – there is nothing that frustrates more than a fantastic link to a post or resource that does not work. A simple"click and check" can save a lot of retweeting.
  4. Don't Worry! – Many new Tweeters worry about things like:  Will I get followers?  Will someone like/ not like what I say?  What if no one responds? …. don't worry. There is no one right way to Twitter. Discovering what works best is a lot trail and error. Be yourself. Have fun. Be open to learning from others, and you will do just fine!
  5. Encourage – Some of my lowest days have been lifted up in seconds by my Twitter friends. In 140 characters we can turn someones day around, encouraging them to smile, get well, or make it through the day knowing someone is routing for their success.
  6. Follow Wisely - With new Twitter tools coming out daily, there is no reason to fret over who to follow. Some of my favorite ways to find and connect with new followers are Mr. Tweet and Twellow.
  7. Global Connections - Twitter is a fantastic space where we are not bound by time or geography. Twitter allows us to connect with a next door neighbor or find a a new friend half a world away! How incredible is that!
  8. HABITUDES!  Twitter is the tool, but your habits and attitudes…your Habitudes as a learner will carry you the distance. Stay curious, use your imagination, ask provocative questions, persevere, and stay open minded and adaptable as new ideas come your way.
  9. Ignite Dialogue – Enjoy the conversation, but carry it past the 140 characters. Challenge your friends and colleagues  to "take it to their blog"  or share the conversation with another. The more the merrier!
  10. Jump into the Fray - Don't be afraid to reply or retweet someone who you don't follow or is known as an "A-Lister". The ground is level here! Right, @guykawasaki and @chrisbrogan??
  11. Kindness – I call it Twitetiquette- it involves saying please, thank you, your welcome, I'm sorry,and really meaning it!
  12. Listen – Listening to the conversation is more important to your Twitter success than the number of tweets you write. When you listen carefully, you find out what people need, what they wondering about, what has them excited, or what has them down. After listening you are ready to respond in purposeful and meaningful ways.
  13. Manage Yourself – Twitter can be addictive.  It is easy to get lost and distracted. (Trust me on this one!) Set a time each day or an amount each week that works for you. Having a Twitter Engagement Formula helps!  I encourage you to create one today!
  14. Name – Yours. Not SnookyOokums2 or TchScienceCA.  Your Name and face matter. People want to know who they are talking to; the real you!  (By the way, you can follow me at AngelaMaiers on Twitter.)
  15. Outside Your Field – When I first started, I only followed folks in "my field". My conversation is richer and my perspective wider because I stepped outside my field. Now. I follow marketers, parents, web developers, scientists,…anyone who brings a new dimension to my learning and the conversation.
  16. Proclaim – Don't be shy about proclaiming the accomplishments of others. Twitter is not about self promotion but rather the promotion of all who can make the conversation better, ReTweeting, sharing links, and pointing your followers to others they may not yet know about adds value to the entire experience.
  17. Question - ask questions continuously. Of yourself, of others. When the questions stop-learning ceases. 
  18. Relationships – That is what Twitter is there for. Twitter is a tool that creates relationships and conversation-using it for anything else would be devaluing the system.
  19. Start Now - I have said it before, if you are not Twittering-you should be!  The benefits far outway any "Yeah-But's" You will never experience the full power of the Twitter network until you Start!
  20. Tweet with purpose - Think not only about who you are engaging with but how you wish to engage. Having a purpose in mind, allows you to maximize your time and efficiency on Twitter.
  21. Unlimited Potential – In the Twittersphere the sky isn'tt even the limit-just follow the @marsphoenix and you'll see what I mean!
  22. Visualize your PLN – Take some time to look at your followers. These are the folks that take time our of their busy days to stop in a hear what you have to say – don't lose sight of how magnificent this really is!
  23. Wise – Be wise, or as my friend Liz Strauss would say: understand that the Internet is public and has no eraser.
  24. X-tra Efforts Matter. A quick DM to tell a new follower thank you, or a simple message sent to a Twitter friend you have not seen in a while says a lot about how important connections are to you. These extra efforts don't take long, but mean the world as you are building and sustaining your network.
  25. You! Your followers expect to hear form you, They value your transparency, your generosity, your graciousness, and your honesty. Build these attributes into your Tweets, and your followers will come!
  26. Zweeeet!  This is the feeling that comes when you have followed the 26 Keys to achieving Twitter success!

So, what are your keys to Twitter Success? What is missing? What would you add?

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  • http://successfulteaching.blogspot.com Pat

    What a great list! I can’t begin to tell you how much I have learned from my Twitter and Plurk friends. I don’t know how I did it without them! It was scary at first but I tell new people to give it a try for at least 2 weeks before they make any judgements. If they really try to use it, they too will find it an invaluable tool to have.

  • Neil Rochelle

    Great post Angela. Kim Moritz was just blogging the other day how difficult it is for her to make sense of Twitter and to use it. Perfect timing.

  • http://emiles-world.blogspot.com Ralph

    Hi, Angela,
    it´s not so long ago a friend has recommended Twitter to me, I tried it out, and I am overwhelmed! Your list is exactly what I need to improve my use of it. Thank you so much, and have a great New Year.

  • http://schoolpd.teacherlingo.com denise roberts

    Thank you for the insight into twitter. This list will definitely help me learn how to engage in the chatter:)

  • http://www.soulycatholichs.blogspot.com charlieroy1977

    @Angela
    Great post! I’m sitting here explaining twitter to my mother who doesn’t quite yet get it. Your post has been a great help. All the best in the new year!

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone!
    >Pat-I agree. i think two weeks is a perfect time to try out your Twitter wings. No judgments, no stress, just get in there and Tweet away! Great advice!
    >Neil and Ralph-I am so glad it helped. Twitter can be overwhelming at first. Pat’s advice with two weeks is sound.
    >Denise and CharlieRoy- you will have your own 26 keys very soon!

  • http://www.beatechie.com Carol Broos

    Outstanding Post, already put this in my favorites. You have excellent suggestions and comments.

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Thanks, Carol. Please add your own thoughts. What makes Twitter work for you? Would love to hear!

  • http://www.newteacherresourcecenter.com Dorit Sasson

    Hi, Angela,

    Wow! This is a great list and so timely too. As for other twittering tips, I think it’s the beginning it’s important to follow those in your niche and gradually branch out. Also I use a combinational approach to Twitter blending the teaching with the nonteaching worlds similar to my own beliefs of how I want people to see me.

    I see a lot of professionals twittering something like 15 times a day. That’s overdoing it. If one wants to create an online presence, twittering three times a day is enough – at least for the beginning.

    Anyhow I’m linking this list. Happy 2009!

    Dorit
    The New Teacher Resource Center
    http://www.newteacherresourcecenter.com
    “Helping You Become a Successful and Confident Teacher”

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Dorit-
    I am so glad it was helpful. I have learned so much from other Twitterers, and these seem to be the trends that I am noticing. I am so excited that you are linking the list to the new teacher site-I am so appreciate of this site as a resource for both new and veteran educators.

  • http://www.knowliz.com/ Anurag Bansal

    Awesome list…
    Got a link to your post thru Problogger..
    Really appreciate your tips.

  • http://xemanhdep.com Photo showcase

    Great list and many cool tips, thanks Angela!

  • http://www.studentlinc.net timage

    Angela.
    I think writing posts on twitter is an excellent way to get to know twitter better. I did one on my site and now I feel like a twitter-evangelist. For all of the people who are hesitant to dive in to twitter – I say go for it. Add to the stream. But please…tweet responsibly. Thanks for the list!

  • http://www.yaffetidbitsblog.com Mike McClure

    Great post, Angela! I have been using Twitter for about 6 months now and yes, it’s adicting. Several people I work with have been asking me about it and want to get into it but still seem unsure. I forwarded this to each of them and i think it’s the perfect primer they’ve been needing. Thanks for the wisdom.

  • http://www.warrior-preneur.com Ann Evanston

    I agree Angels great list! I also like that it is a positive proactive list. If I read another “I’m going to unfollow you” blog I think I am going to scream! And if you are a beginner with twitter and want some step by step see my great video here: http://zenaentrepreneurs.com/opportunities.php

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Tim-what a great motto. Please Tweet Responsibly. I think you could have a new career in Bumber stickers!~ I agree wholeheartedly that writing post is the best way to get to know Twitter better-just jump in! Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Ann- I agree! Thank you so much for the link to the video- I had not seen this yet! I will so follow you!

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Mike – If there was any downside to Twitter that would be it. I love it so much-I could spend way more time there than I should. Thanks for forwarding this advice to your peeps. They, too will be hooked in no time!

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Thanks JC and Anurag for taking the time for comment. I learn so much from at @Problogger,; a must follow for any Tweeter. I am grateful for the link to these new connections and conversations!

  • http://www.createfinancialwealth.com Home Based Business

    Thanks for this post! I am always looking for ways to improve my effectiveness with Twitter. Great info!

    What is your twitter id by the way?

  • http://ajanechambers.blogspot.com Jane Chambers

    It is people like you, Angela, who amaze me on Twitter – sharing your experience with those of us who are new to Twitter, social media, etc. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Jane, TIm, and Mitch! thank you for all the Whoo-Hoos and messages of encouragement. Tim-you are so right…it is like giving birth!

    My Twitter ID is @angelamaiers

  • Patrick John

    I posted this on Twitter and then I found your site.

    I would like to learn more about Twitter use.
    Does anyone know people who write about “how to use twitter”? patrick.omahony@gmail.com

  • http://www.terrykrysakartworks.blogspot.com Terry Krysak

    Very good post. I found I have met a bunch of great people on twitter, and it is a gold mine for useful information from folks who like to share good stuff.

  • http://www.angelamaiers.com AngelaMaiers

    Terry- Twitter is a gold mine! It is amazing how much smarter and better prepared I feel everyday from Twitter. It is my daily inspiration and connection!

  • KARLA

    THANK YOU FOR THE INSIGHTFUL INFORMATION I AM ENJOYING MY NEW TWEETER EXPERIENCE….KARLA

  • http://www.liturgy.co.nz Bosco Peters

    As a person just getting active on twitter – thanks for these points.

    Bosco
    http://twitter.com/liturgy

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/Swing-Trading-x Swing Trading

    Interesting post. I have made a twitter post about this. Others no doubt will like it like I did.

  • http://www.wintercoatsjackets.com winter coats

    wow.. I forwarded this to each of them and i think it’s the perfect primer they’ve been needing.

    Regards,
    GB
    New Zealand – Beautiful Places | Vacation | Destinations

  • http://twitter.com/daviddgeorge David

    I think being personal and engaging with others on twitter is the key to success.  Talking about what you know and re-tweeting interesting/useful information will go a long way.  Great article!

  • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

    Thanks David. Lots of the ideas are really simple to implement; but often overlooked.  I appreciate you sharing.

  • Joffre (J.D.) Meyer

    Great article. I love having connections not being bound by geography. Re-tweeting others is fun. Education is my main interest, but I like to do investigative reporting at times–most recently with the Detroit crisis & Trayvon tragedy.

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