By Adam Ullian
Admittedly, I was not someone who jumped on the Twitter bandwagon right way. I was a MySpace person and then I moved to Facebook, but Twitter never really appealed to me. It seemed too convoluted with people talking about nothing and sending too many messages at once. I preferred Facebook because I good get the immediate gratification of people liking and commenting on my posts, the realtime sense that someone saw what I had to say and liked it. That doesn’t happen very often on Twitter, you basically have to put yourself out there and then hope you get followed. What used to be the struggle to amass Facebook friends has morphed into the challenge to amass Twitter followers and possibly become an ‘influencer.’
This all changed a few months ago when I read an article about a young comic who got a writing job in Hollywood because of her Twitter feed. She had enough tweets that people liked that she amassed a large group of followers and then people began to notice and someone hired her. So, I thought, I must be doing this wrong. The Twitter account I have is under my website name, not my own name, and maybe that’s what preventing my Twitter growth. So I shutdown my original account, created one under my own name, recited the Jewish prayer for Twitter followers – which happens to be the Shechechyanu, and then started following the first few people I could find. Most of them are comedians, because Twitter is God’s gift to all comics. I then branched out, I looked up musicians, and DJs, and writers, and politicians, and athletes. Soon, the followers began pouring in. I had 10, then 20, then 50, then 70, etc. I learned that if I tweeted enough, and mentioned enough handles in each tweet, by the transitive property I would attract followers. Major events are always helpful, like the Olympics or the national conventions we have every 4 years. There has to be a reason for a hashtag that attracts people, and those events provide them.
So why did Twitter win me over? Because, in it’s essence, it is used for promotion. It is not a personal diary or ‘here’s what I did today’ application. People do use it for that, but it’s purpose is individual promotion – and once you accept that, you have the formula for success. Facebook is good for promotion, but it’s not great for promotion. You don’t often hear about the Facebook pages for athletes and politicians, but you do hear about their latest Twitter entry. Facebook is good for a conversation or a debate or sharing photos or making new friends. Twitter isn’t meant for that. Do people share photos on Twitter? Sure they do, but they’re usually in the naked category and not meant for tags and comments. Twitter is meant for short personal advertisements and other people helping you advertise via retweets. Once you accept that, and put a voice and persona behind your handle, you’re good to go. @adamullian