Twitter, microblogging and building your tribe

In a recent post I outlined the 6 different types of social media. In this post we will go more in depth on mircroblogging and how it plays into your tribe building strategy.

Microblogging platforms are services that focus on short updates pushed out to anyone subscribed to receive the updates.  The largest example, by far, is Twitter.  It allows you to post updates that are short and concise, no longer than 140 characters.  Started in 2006, Twitter’s rapid growth reached 100 million users in April of this year.

“I don’t get it”

This is the quote I’ve heard about Twitter from more people than anything else.  To be honest, it took me awhile to “get” it as well.  While I could try to explain it here, I’ve found any verbal explanation falls short of actually helping people  understand how the platform works.  If you are interested in Twitter, the best thing to do is signup, start following a few people and begin reading their updates on a regular basis.  Once you do this for a little while, you’ll start to get it.

Why Twitter?

When deciding whether Twitter is a good outlet for you, keep in mind that it still has just 25% of the users that Facebook does.  That said, Twitter is a great medium for two main reasons:

  1. It is extremely easy to connect with popular people.  Guy Kawasaki is a well known author and venture capitalist.  I was hired by him last year to design and build a blog.  As a result of doing that one job for him, I received tens of thousands of dollars of contracts.  I first made contact with Guy on Twitter.  Twitter is one of the easiest ways to directly connect with people that would otherwise ignore your phone calls and emails.
  2. Content spreads very quickly.  Many of my clients get a large majority of their blog and website traffic from Twitter. Re-tweeting (reposting the same update as someone else) is very popular on Twitter and, as a result, your updates on Twitter can quickly spread.  The more people that re-tweet you, the more people that click to your website and follow you.

Getting Started

If you are ready to take the plunge into Twitter but are still a little unsure about the process, follow these steps:

  1. Signup and start following a few people.  As I said above, the best way to “get” Twitter is to start following a few people and regularly reading their updates.  This will give you an idea of how it works.
  2. Learn the terminology.  Here is a great article on the terminology commonly used on Twitter.  This will make your life much easier.
  3. Start by linking to other content.  While promoting your own content is important, you don’t want to only do that.  Start by linking to other articles and blog posts that are on your subject material.  This will establish you as an expert in your field and give you a good start on Twitter content.
  4. Get involved in the conversation.  While you are reading the updates of the people you follow, start replying to them if you have any good feedback.  Most people pay close attention to the people that reply to them on Twitter and will often engage in conversation.  This will allow you to build tighter connections with people and catch their attention.
Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl is the author of Your First 1000 Copies and the founder of He has worked with authors for a decade to help them build their platform, connect with readers, and sell more books. He has worked 1-on-1 with over a hundred authors including Daniel Pink, Hugh Howey, Barbara Corcoran, Chip and Dan Heath, Sally Hogshead and many others. He has also launched dozens of New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestsellers.
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