I joined the Twitter community about six months ago and am still figuring it out. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with several people about this ‘Twitter thing’ and noted some interesting sentiments:
“No one really cares about anyone else.”
“People have sixty billion followers so how am I supposed to get their attention.” (60 billion? c’mon)
“I mention. I retweet.”
“I follow them – but they don’t follow me back.”
“No one notices.”
Some bitter, disgruntled folks out there … they got me thinking about Taoism.
I want to learn more about how my connections and contributions can have more meaning so I picked up The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer. Mark put together a thoughtful and honest account to help us get to know the Tao and the How of Twitter. He shares his experiences and offers fantastic guides to ‘do this & don’t that’. I would definitely recommend reading this – I know I learned from it.
Mark defines Tao as ‘the Way’ (which is the literal translation) and as “the primordial essence or fundamental aspect of the universe”. I might take it a step further and suggest, as Lao-tse’s teachings illustrate, that these fundamental aspects are part of the natural balance governed by universal laws and the more we interfere, the further we are pushed from harmony. Forcing = Big Troubles. The most basic Taoist principle is that there is an optimal way of learning from, appreciating, and working with whatever happens in day-to-day life. One of the most ubiquitous symbols of Taoism is the willow tree that bends in the strong wind (its anti-thesis is the oak, which snaps in half). It’s the constant flow of gentle water that smooths the stone.
Before anyone pulls a hamstring trying to get into lotus here … what does this have to do with Twitter? That’s what I was thinking about, too.
Authenticity is awesome (heard that somewhere before? Me, too). It’s true and it works. Whether you’re speaking for a company or for yourself, ensure it’s a real voice coming through. Corporately, you’ll no doubt have a strategy to attend to; regardless, that voice must be authentic.
Reciprocity rocks – and rocks harder without the expectation of return. Combine authenticity with reciprocity and you have a killer cocktail. Let it happen organically. When you (or your organization) actually cares about what you’re putting out there, people will start to notice and will start giving back. It takes time, dedication, and patience (like the current on that stone).
Trying to Force any relationship is sure to bring (pop quiz) … ________?
In the Twitter universe, I am definitely not a Rock Star; actually, I’m the microbe on the head of the pin held by one of Horton’s Whos. To really learn, check out the folks on my Blogroll – serious guidance to be found.
But that doesn’t mean my contributions aren’t worthwhile. Yours are, too. Everything means something to someone, somewhere.
Why you are wading into these waters? Are you looking for new business? Are you trying to generate some for a client? Are you looking for your fifteen minutes? What is your Why?