The day I was born it was a chilly 36 degrees. I know this for a fact because I was a spry 40-year old on December 1, 2007, the day I signed up for the social networking site Twitter. I've been active on Twitter ever since and it's by far my favorite social media site.
Don't believe all the naysayers on Twitter. It's a great place to hang out.
1. Twitter is very different from Facebook, Instagram and other sites. Twitter isn't about your friends or network. It's about your ideas. If you are curious and are a voracious learner - like I am! - Twitter is the right social network for you.
2. Twitter is less personal than sites like Facebook. Unlike the latter, you don't have to think twice - or thrice - before you "unfriend" someone. If people aren't tweeting stuff you're interested in, you can just unfollow them. No biggie. Still, like Facebook, Twitter does have a "mute" button if you'd rather silence someone but still follow him.
3. Twitter is a direct link to another person. No gatekeepers! It's like having someone's phone number so you can text them. I've tweeted with marketing executives, authors and even B-list celebrities.
4. Twitter expanded its character count from 140 to 280 and it's awesome. The former made it difficult to have conversations. But 280 characters is plenty to have a real conversation with someone.
Here's the challenge with Twitter. If you follow too many people, you'll miss out on some great conversations as your Twitter feed will be spinning like a slot machine. My feed was looking like that last week - and I knew why. I was following over 2,000 people! I needed to cut back and I did. I reduced the number of people I'm following to 442 - and I'd like to get under 300 in the coming weeks.
I've already noticed the difference. I'm seeing fewer people pushing links and more people sharing thoughtful comments. Some of my favorites are Aubrey Bergauer (marketing for symphonies), Rand Fishkin (digital marketing and SEO) and Tom Ahern (fundraising word master).
If you're on Twitter and are interested in sharing and learning in 2019, follow me at @JoeWaters. But following me isn't enough to get me to follow you back and join "The 300." You actually have to write something to me! That will put you on my radar screen and I'll follow you back.
A few more suggestions if you want to join me on Twitter in 2019:
1. Follow people with smaller followings. People with fewer followers are definitely easier to connect with and talk to. For example, as a history buff, I know I can always get a response from Lee Wright at The History List if I have a question.
2. Follow people, not brands, publications or firms. I follow my share of organizations on Twitter, but I prefer to follow people whenever I can. For example, I don't follow Blackbaud on Twitter, but I do follow Steve MacLaughlin at Blackbaud. Compare the two accounts. Which one is more interesting?
3. Follow people who engage with their followers. It's easy to figure this out. Go to someone's Twitter page and click on "Tweets & replies" and see if they are talking to people. There's nothing wrong with people who lurk on Twitter. But they obviously don't make good people to follow because they don't participate.
Have a great New Year! Whatever way we communicate in 2019, I'm looking forward to talking to you!
✍️ Partnership Notes
1. This Millennial-friendly charity platform is transforming corporate giving. 37 of the Just 100 companies are clients!
2. Since October, Allstate has donated $30,000 to Girls on the Run clubs across the country and sponsored more than 100 girls and coaches to run in Allstate Hot Chocolate races.
😎 Cool Jobs in Cause**
1. Corporate Development Officer, Habitat for Humanity (Atlanta)
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🧠🍌 Brain Food
1. Uh-oh. New changes to tax law will make deducting charitable giving from next year's taxes more difficult for taxpayers.
2. Remember Batkid? He saved a city. Now he's cancer-free.
Have a question, comment or just want to say hi? Just leave a comment below. 🙏