How To Be A Millionaire On #Twitter

In two easy steps!

  • Step 1: Be a millionaire.
  • Step 2: Get on Twitter.

Just like advice you’d get at a Dogbert seminar. But it’s no crazier than most of the “advice” from so-called “new media gurus” that is flying over Twitter like flies over dung.

Do you want to succeed on Twitter? Here’s my advice:

  • Ignore all advice from gurus and experts.
  • Just do it.

My batting average is .500 on the above advice.

Many of the people dolling out advice about how to succeed on Twitter were either:

  1. already successful with social media before getting on Twitter or
  2. early adopters who benefited from the first-finest-or-f*cked rule of marketing.

What they should really be advising newcomers is to go back in time and be first. That would at least be honest advice. Twitter is changing so quickly that it’s not possible create static rules of engagement that will work for all time. Just use common sense.

But it’s not too late to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. I was an early adopter of the Internet (1984), domain names (1992), websites (1997), and blogs (2002). But I waited until 2008 to start with Twitter. That’s late (by my standards), but it’s still early (in fact).

Twitter is still growing. I went from nothing to 98th percentile in authority in 90 days. So either I’m really good (I don’t think so) or it’s really easy to gain traction quickly.

Early on, I focused on keeping my follower/following ratio high (usually 10:1) because I thought that this mattered. Also, I was reading 100% of the tweets from my followers, which gets harder the more followers you have.

Well, I’ve thrown my assumptions out the window, declared that I don’t care about my “authority” scores, stopped reading 100% of the tweets from my followers, and just started following people that are interesting.

The results: I added 100 followers in 24 hours. Not that I’m counting or anything.

I had called people with 100+ followers “disingenuous,” because it meant that they weren’t actually reading tweets from the people they are following. But who says that you have to? With Twitter clients like TweetDeck, you can follow lots and filter what you read.

I will also admit that I changed my thinking after reading a blog post by @MichaelTurk entitled “What Twitter Is To Me,” in which he called people with high follower/following ratios “elitist.” I’m not sure I agree with that assessment, but there’s a lot of good stuff in that blog post.

But Turk’s blog post did make me rethink my approach. Rethinking our approach is what separates humans from other animals. If you don’t like you’re approach to Twitter, change it.

Plus, I didn’t want to appear to be a new media douchebag:

Twitter, like all social media platforms, is different things to different people. Some people will want to read only, some post only. Some will want to listen, some shout. Some will want to read lots, some little.

I go back to what my mentor said when I was starting my law firm (which launched the week of 9/11). He said, “Just be yourself, and you’ll be fine.” I am now living through the second recession in the same job. My mentor’s advice applies now more than ever, not only to running a business but also to Twitter.

Just be yourself, and you’ll be fine.

Erik J. Heels is not a new media guru. Neither are you. On Twitter he is @ErikJHeels.

8 Replies to “How To Be A Millionaire On #Twitter”

  1. Tweetbaiting title, great advice! It is kind of nuts how many “How to Twitter” articles there are out there, and most of them aren’t this honest. It’s kind of like the ‘content is king’ rule for blog success. If you don’t write interesting posts, all the SEO in the world won’t help.

  2. Agree… creative/interesting people will have natural momentum on Twitter without reading their social metrics or trying gaming it.

    Follow people who are interesting, reply to those who talk about things you care about, and post content that provides some value…

  3. This is definitely me — “Some will want to read lots..” =) Twitter for me is a learning tool. I can’t possibly read most of what’s in the Internet in a giving day so I let the people that I follow on Twitter doing the “sifting” of information out there. Then I read what they recommend / deemed interesting to tweet =)

  4. Liked this post. It seems to me that every third person on twitter is a self proclaimed social media expert. Whether any of them are making any money (other than selling “information products” to each other) remains to be seen.

    Ian

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