The Twitter experiment – A first time Tweeter two weeks in

It took me a while to join Twitter. I wanted to see how the marketing land lay first. I’ve been on there for two weeks now. Here’s a quick run-down of my experiences so far.

A Twitter beginner – The findings so far

  • I’ve gently built up just under 100 followers and I’m following about 110. It’s quite time consuming finding people to follow but that’s probably because I’m not just following large numbers of people indiscriminately. I’m hooking up when I genuinely think they’re cool, interesting or useful.
  • I’m being followed by increasing numbers of young, scantily clad ladies. They come in clumps. This morning I had ten at once. There’s no details beyond a name. I smell spam. So I’m not going to follow them back. Instinct tells me I’d rather follow quality than quantity. To be honest, I don’t really know what effect following a load of fake tweeters might have, if any. But it feels like a good idea to steer clear until I do. I can research it online in no time – next on the list.
  • I’m tweeting a mixture of observations, a percentage of which have nothing to do with freelance copywriting, direct marketing or SEO. I’m going to sneak in one very soft sell every ten tweets or so. My strategy? To create an engaging, honest, non-salesy ‘brand’ (for want of a better word) that reflects me and my services honestly, accurately, consistently and creatively.
  • I started re-tweeting this morning. Rather than doing it willy nilly I’m passing on tweets I really like. One of them made me laugh out loud and I’m still giggling.  I was delighted to share it. The rest were a mixture of useful information, good causes and fun stuff.
  • I haven’t re-tweeted anything overtly sales-related simply because they’re not very interesting. It’s boring being sold to all the time and I’ve just about stopped taking any notice. I won’t be the only one, which probably means it’s best not to go into sales overdrive.
  • I’m very conscious of being myself. I’m a freelance writer selling ‘me’ – there’s no need to create an imaginary persona. If things work out my followers should eventually feel the love enough to get in touch with copywriting projects. Which’ll prove to me that Twitter’s a viable marketing and branding medium for my business.
  • I am loving the 140 character limit. I try to take it to the limit every time. The restriction is inspiring because you have to make your words work so much harder. At the moment it’s taking me about two minutes per tweet but I predict I’ll get much faster when writing to 140 characters becomes instinctive.

If all this sounds a bit ad hoc, it is. I’m the first to admit I like throwing myself in the deep end to experience new media first hand. I get to ‘feel’ how the medium works without any preconceptions. It’s much more fun than following a ‘how to’ guide. When I run across something I need to know, I research it. And I get to talk about real experiences, not just received wisdom, in my blog.