So Twitter is kind of old hat by now, right? It's kind of like been there, done that.
You're out there, you're tweeting your little heart out; you're sharing your blog posts and compulsively refreshing your timeline every 5 minutes. You get it.
The question is though, are you really socializing? Twitter is like a global party – and everyone got the invite. It's up to you to show up in your best outfit and work the room.
Are you a wallflower or a social butterfly? Here are IFB's top tips for being the life of the social media party:
It's a party! Say something interesting: Think of your tweets as things that would actually come out of your mouth if you were standing in a group, talking face-to-face with your followers. Would you announce randomly in the middle of a crowded party, “Long day. Me so sleepy. #zzzz”? I hope not.
- Pass along something interesting you've read or seen(and “@” your source); pose a question to the crowd; or share a witty anecdote.
- The goal is to be part of the mix by talking with people (or doing some sweet dance moves that will get people talking) and not to stand against the wall, muttering to yourself about how you think you ate some bad shellfish last night.
The Popular Crowd: At every party it can feel like there's one group of people, standing in the middle of the action, talking amongst themselves about things you don't understand or are not a part of. They are laughing, planning, and carrying on – without you. It's natural to be a little jealous. However, this is not your golden moment to “@” every single one of them and chime in unannounced. My advice? Instead of pouting, start a rousing conversation of your own! Engage the people around you with your humor, your intellect and your undeniable charm.
Making Friends: Parties exist so that people can mingle. (Hello, it's called social media.) Most people don't join Twitter to stand alone stoically; intimidating the other guests with their icy stares. We're here because we want to talk, to laugh, to learn and to make connections. Use the social cues you've learned from a lifetime of real-life socializing. If you want to introduce yourself to someone (anyone), do it!
- Be polite, perhaps pay a compliment, or tell this person something they would find interesting.
- The difference with social media versus IRL socializing? People can choose to ignore you without physically walking away or rolling their eyes, but it can be just as painful. Ouch.
- We can't control what other people do, but we can control our reactions. Instead of stewing, pouting, or acting out, just move on. You don't know what's going on in anyone's head, or on their computer for that matter. Leave it be, because your time is better spent focusing on the positives.
The art of the #FF: In my eyes, a “Follow Friday” round-up can be a few things. It can be a way to introduce your followers to your favorite handles; a way to give a shout out to the blogs you follow; or a thanks to the people who have included you in their #FF. If you want to do more than one, it can be helpful to group people together by bloggers; friends; editors; whatever the case may be.
Reciprocate appropriate follows: It's easy to get caught up in the numbers on Twitter, but as with many things in life, it's really about quality over quantity. When you get a new follow, check out that person's profile. If you like what you see, return the kindness, but don't feel obligated. Likewise, when you follow a new person, don't expect them to follow you, and for God's sake, don't ask them to follow. Don't you dare ask.
- Listen, respond thoughtfully, and ask questions or make statements that can spark lively conversation.
- Don't suck up to bloggers/editors/celebrities/publications that you follow. You're too good for that, I promise.
- Be confident, be gracious, be vivacious!
- Share things that are interesting, beautiful, funny, thought-provoking, fashionable… you get the idea. Use photos (Instagram is awesome), links, and videos to add color to your dialog.
- Do not be the Debbie Downer of Twitter. Keep the emotional, personal, and self-pitying tweets to a minimum.
- Be yourself, of course! Your unique voice, your perspective, that's what matters. It's why and how you write a fabulous blog, and why you further engage with followers and potential new followers (and friends) through social media.
The key with Twitter is to be true to your best self. So put on your most flattering party dress and some sexy shoes, then get out there and dazzle!
How do you shine in the social media scene? Share your experience and tips in the comments!