How to Rock Twitter

If you don’t rock Twitter, maybe you’re doing it wrong.

Some of my friends hate Twitter. They explain to me that when they started an account, they just “started following a bunch of accounts.” Like, 300 accounts.

Sports fans would follow ESPN, Yahoo Sports, MLB, the NFL.
Music fans would follow SPIN and Rolling Stone.
Pop culture fans would follow TMZ and People.

No wonder my friends don’t rock Twitter. Following that many accounts is like showing up at a bar, changing every TV to a different channel, and trying to pay attention to the person next to you. Good luck.

Don’t follow accounts, follow people.

Most big media outlets automate their headlines into Twitter, with links to their stories. BORING.

If I met the editor-in-chief of SPIN Magazine longform features editor at BuzzFeed (@SteveKandell) and he just told me all the stories they posted that day, well, I’d find someone else to talk to (though I’m sure he wouldn’t do that).

But if I read a great NBA article on Yahoo Sports, written by Adrian Wojnarowski, well, I’d rather follow Adrian Wojnarowski (he’s on Twitter: @WojYahooNBA).

Don’t follow the @nba, follow @KDonhoops, editor of Ball Don’t Lie.
Don’t follow A Day to Remember, follow @jeremymckinnon, the singer.
Don’t follow @engadget, follow tech pundit @parislemon
Don’t follow @Mets, follow Mets beat writer Andy Martino (thanks, @billmeis).

See that? Now you’re following people, not accounts.

If they says something funny, or interesting, you can reply to them. This can start a conversation. Conversations lead to meeting new people. And friendships! That’s how you rock Twitter.

EXAMPLE: This Tweet from MG Siegler (@parislemon)

I’ve played plenty of arcade games in my youth. One of my favorites was I, Robot. I’m not even a “gadget blog” kind of guy, but I could easily reply to him. And he’d see it. Maybe he’d even reply to my reply. In the real world, we call that a conversation. And conversations lead to…

Meeting new people!

It’s not about “followers,” it’s about people. Yes, I have around 1,400 1,650 “followers,” but at any point I can Tweet that I need a place to stay in some random city and chances are someone can help me out.

Why? Because they’re people, not accounts. They’re friends, not “followers.”

I got to be pals with Natalie Zed (@NatalieZed), a writer in Toronto, through Twitter. If I were passing through her city, I’m sure we’d get coffee and talk about metal.

I got to be friends with Katy (@MsApocalypse) from Twitter, and was able to crash with her in New Mexico last summer.

When I was a kid I never thought I’d be friends with guitar shredders, but I’m pals with Markus Johansson (@JohanssonShreds) because of Twitter. He’s played with some of my metal heroes, and we swap emails from time to time.

I met Amir (@IAmAmirHasan) years ago through work, and we kept in touch through Twitter, and I was able to hang out last summer when I passed through Richmond, VA.

You get out of Twitter what you put into it. You don’t get on a first name basis with your local barista by showing up once a month. You’ve got to commit to being a regular if you want to rock Twitter.

I hope this post helped you understand Twitter a bit more. Get in touch via Twitter (@sethw) or email if you have any questions.