I joined twitter almost a year ago. I recently past the 5000 tweet mark.
Here’s what I’ve learned from the experience so far.
1. Twitter is a bit like smoking: it’s mildly cathartic and pleasing. It can be addictive.
2. Twitter is great for creative types. It’s an audience for your musings. And it keeps you sharp. You have to think before you tweet. Not a lot. But enough.
3. You get a small window in the minds and lives of others. And they might deviate wildly from the type of person you’d normally meet organically. I love that about it.
4. Brands don’t really belong on Twitter. Twitter is for people. There will be exceptions to this but if you don’t have a beating heart and a brain nobody will care.
5. Twitter (and social media in general) is about caring about it and putting the time and energy into it. There’s no short cut. It’s a bit of a grind. A tweet is a mini-pulse of thought and energy. This is why brands flounder on twitter.
6. It’s a bit like keeping a diary. The more you get it into the less self-conscious you are about it. I’ve loosened up considerably over time. Some might say I’ve loosened up too much. But hey, sue me!
7. Twitter, like a lot of other things, is what you make it. I initially got enthusiastic about being able to follow UK comedy folks whose shows I liked. And I still do. Subsequently I made a lot of contacts in the advertising community. And some completely random people I would never ever meet: a young female fashion designer from Southern California who is riotously funny. And a young woman from Dublin for whom I had Rob Lowe record a special Christmas greeting. Never met her. But I knew she was a fan of his so I made it happen. Made her day. And making her day made my day.
8. Your followers are like your crew. Your people. I was having problems with this blog. It was taking ages to load so I tweeted about it. A helpful London-based ad creative of German/Hungarian extraction (Hello Vik!) repaired my blog for me as we chatted on Skype. This kind of thing happens quite frequently. Twitter can be very useful.
9. Tweeting is fun. There are no rules and it’s nice to feel connected to lots of different people.