Twitter Newbies: The Thanksgiving Vacation Challenge

by Angelique on November 20, 2009

My blog is going on vacation until December 1. I will leave you all with this post, which is dedicated to all the Twitter-curious people I met last night.

Twitter Newbies: The Thanksgiving Vacation Challenge

Roasted Turkey

At Thursday’s massive Networking Phoenix event I met dozens of people who have opened Twitter accounts but are not sure what to do with them. Some of these accounts lie dormant; some are only used for occasional press-release-type blurbs. In all cases the users are not getting any benefit from Twitter.

Are you one of these people? At least a few of you are, because you promised to follow me, and you did, and you have followed the link to this blog post. Now I will tell you how to use Twitter to learn lots of interesting things. These suggestions are easy and fun, so you should do them all next week and weekend.

“But Angelique!” you are saying, “Shouldn’t I be promoting my business using a magic Twitter application that will get me a thousand followers in seven days?” Trust me — everyone will be busy planning, creating, traveling to, eating and recovering from Thanksgiving dinner, after which they will be shopping, watching football, or complaining about shopping and football (gender depending) so you will not be missing any great “business opportunities.” What you have instead is Educational Opportunities, which are much better and will serve you well in the years to come.

(As for the magic Ronco Follower-o-Matic, the only person whose pockets it fills is the guy who wrote the app. The only thing it will do for you is magically turn you into That Guy — even if you’re a girl. Trust me — again: You do not want to be That Guy.)

Concept One: People in your industry or field are writing interesting and useful things about your industry or field. This especially true if you are a programmer, designer, photographer, writer, marketer or promoter. Use Twitter to find these people.

Step-by-Step How To:

1. In the right column of your Twitter profile, under the search box, there is a choice called “Lists.” Create a list with the name of your industry.

2. Go to the search box and type in the name of your industry or a buzzword associated with it, preceded by the “#” sign. On Twitter, this sign is called a “hashtag.” Examples: #opensource #design #photoshop #nanowrimo #ecommerce #marketing #b2b

3. The resulting list of tweets will offer you two things: Links to articles and links to the profiles of the people who have written or retweeted the articles. when you find someone whose articles you enjoy reading, or who passes on good information, or who just writes informative, funny or interesting tweets, follow that person and add that person to your new list.

4. Take your time and spend days doing this. There is no need to rush; none of these people are going anywhere.

5. Remember to share information you think is good. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few followers; it’s good practice, the people whose info you are sharing may decide to follow you back, and you may get into a conversation with them. How to
share? Here’s an example: “RT @afmarcom From my blog:

Concept Two: You can learn a lot about social networking, blogging and image-making from the zillions of “experts” on Twitter. Caveat: There’s a reason I put “experts” in quotation marks.

Step-by-Step How To:

1. Make a list called something like “Social Networking.”

2. Follow these people: @unmarketing, @chrisguillebeau, @gwenbell, @ryanrancatore, @johnfmoore, @bradrourke and @snipeyhead. Oh, and @afmarcom.

Note: @Snipeyhead is foul-mouthed and rude. She is also your best guide to avoid turning into That Guy.

3. Use the #socialmedia, #smm, #personalbranding, #marketing, #twitterhelp and #newbie hashtags to start your own search.

Have fun, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Have more questions about this subject? Need help establishing a social network presence for your product or service? I can help you! Contact me at or 602.735.3107.