I used to be a Facebook only girl. Facebook is the way I communicate with my “tribe” (the amazing group of moms and dads that choose to support me and read my posts!) When I joined Twitter, I didn’t get it…I couldn’t understand why you’d want to follow a bunch of people you don’t know in real life, and didn’t see what the actual “benefit” was, other than meeting follower requirements for certain PR agencies. My husband (a master networker and worship pastor extraordinaire you can find @THEdavidlindner) encouraged me to keep going, and to interact….and now, I’m hooked.

Here are a few reasons why Twitter is awesome (and in some cases, better than facebook.)

  • Inspirational pictures, pictures of cats doing things, pictures with corny quotes super-imposed onto them, etc. don’t clog up your feed.
  • People are limited to 140 characters to type their update, so you avoid the long-winded posts that can sometimes occur on FB. (Sometimes forced brevity is a good thing.)
  • There are SO many amazing people you may never otherwise get to connect with! (See more on networking below!)

I know Twitter may be a foreign word to some of you, or yet another social media venue you feel you don’t need. Maybe you love it. Maybe you have 20k followers. Either way, I wanted to give you a few Twitter tips today, especially for those of you just starting out.

  • Network!!

Twitter is GREAT for connecting with other like-minded individuals from around the globe. You don’t have to be a blogger to benefit from Twitter!!! Whether you’re a small business owner, a foodie, or a parent of a child on the autism spectrum (honestly, one of the strongest communities on Twitter), you will find a community of other people to connect with…to share ideas with…to learn from…to direct you to other sites…We are stronger when we work together. Go out there and find your group! From animal rights activists, to political pundits, to mom bloggers, to homeschooling moms (another BIG Twitter community!), you will find a community you can learn from and network with!

I found several communities within twitter that I “belong” to. I can connect with other moms, other pastor’s wives, and can also connect to local companies and businesses. So, get out there! Find an online community to connect with.

  • Connect!

When someone takes the time to @connect with you on Twitter, write them back!!! Thank people for answering your questions, for giving their opinions, etc. I’m always a little put off when someone (unless it’s someone HUGE), doesn’t respond. So talk back!!

Make an effort to respond to people’s tweets! (This is great practice for those of you who may be shy…) Answer a question, show some sympathy…RELATE! (All moms want is a bit of validation and encouragement…so give it!)

Re-tweet when you love what someone has to say!

  • Ditch True Twit

If you’re genuinely trying to grow a following, having your potential followers jump through a  giant hassle hoop to have the “privilege” of reading your tweets is NOT a good idea. More often than not, no one is going to go through the process, and you will end up losing potential followers (who could turn into readers!)

  • It’s NOT just a numbers game

There are some out there who use Twitter solely to get things. (There are plenty of bloggers who are solely in it for the “stuff” as well!) Don’t pursue twitter just to get your numbers up. It’s SO much more than that. Be wary of the “free follower” sites (unless you’re interested in following a bunch of rappers and Israeli businessmen…) and try to build an authentic following. In my book, (and this has taken a lot of personal growth to say and mean) 500 actual, authentic followers (who read and connect with me) is more meaningful than having 10,000 followers who are just in it to win contests, were purchased,etc.  Whether you are a cupcake shop, a photographer, a mom blogger, a lover of all food on a stick….there are genuine followers out there for you, and people you can connect with. Find them, connect with them, and don’t worry if so and so has more followers than you….connectivity is the real key.

  • Don’t Auto DM/Be Authentic!

I am ALL for welcoming new followers, but automatic direct messaging can be a bit of a turn-off, and comes off as inauthentic. It’s equally as off-putting to auto-dm with your facebook page address or your website, urging your new follower to join you there as well. If they like what you have to say, they’ll come on their own. =)

  •  It’s not all business….be personal too!

Don’t just use twitter to advertise your business, talk about your giveaways, or mention your product  (over and over.) Yes, Twitter is great for getting yourself and what you have created out there. However, if you’re all business and solely tweet about your “stuff” your followers may lose interest. Be a real person! Be funny. Give ideas. Don’t include a link in every tweet. Be YOU (and not just business/blog you)!

Just be yourself, be authentic, and CARE. Find a community. Connect. Network with like-minded individuals. Make friends you’ll never meet. All you have to do is tweet.

Please come find me on Twitter @chasingsupermom! I would love to begin connecting with you! Send me an @ message, and I’ll follow you back! Can’t wait to tweet with ya!