Leaving The Nest and Learning To Tweet: Using Twitter as a Professional Tool

circa 2011

A moment from the pre-historic pre-iphone years

I’m going to be honest. When I first heard about Twitter back in 2006 (seven years ago? yikes..) I thought it seemed pretty silly. At fourteen my Facebook feed was filled with the narcissistic statuses of my peers, and I assumed Twitter would be nothing but that. By the time college rolled around I had sheepishly jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. I used my (private) Twitter account like most people my age, recounting “hilarious” occurrences in my daily life. I followed somewhere around 200 other accounts, and my Twitter feed was filled with garbage that failed to interest me whatsoever. As far as I was concerned, Twitter was a pretty big joke.

Then one day I entered the startup world, and my mind was changed forever. Never before had I experienced such a technology infused life as exists in the Bay Area. People in the Bay eat, sleep and breath technology to an extent I couldn’t have imagined.

Over the course of my work with LiveLovely and a recently started curation internship with The Fetch, I have begun to understand the fine tunings of Twitter as a social tool. The site provides an incredible opportunity for networking, providing praise and encouragement to others, and most of all sharing content and ideas. While imitation has always been considered the highest form of flattery, in 2013 I think the ‘re-tweet’ has won that prize.

As a Social Media Manager (with a new Twitter handle) I’ve come to a few conclusions about the best way to use Twitter. If you’re trying to grow your followers, don’t go fishing. Instead, (and here’s a camp counselor analogy for you) make your peanut butter covered pine cone bird feeders (post interesting and engaging content) and the birds will find you. What makes a good tweet? Before you post a tweet take a moment to ask yourself “would this make me smile/laugh/think/want to retweet if someone else tweeted it?” By posting thoughtful and engaging content you increase your chances of attracting high quality followers who will be worth following. If you’re looking for a response from a corporate account or you’re trying to be retweeted use all the spelling and punctuation rules you learned in elementary school, be appropriate, use your real name, and incorporate the [@]whoever into your tweet.

If all else fails just remember, the internet loves cats.

Home For The Holidays

throwbacks to '94Going home for any moderate length of time is strange. The first few days are great. Doing laundry for free. Eating sushi multiple times. Sleeping in a queen sized bed. These are the grand extravagances one forgets about while living as a student. There is relief in finding the family dog still kicking; any ‘My Dog Skip’ fears abated for a while longer.

After day three, however, things get weird. Akin to finding yourself in your own version of Groundhog’s Day, every day is suddenly the same as the one before it. You awkwardly run into old friends you no longer know. Your respectable diet of kale and quinoa goes out the window as you scavenge in the fridge. This wouldn’t be an issue if your father and brother didn’t subsist solely on chips, crackers and seasonal gift baskets. Chocolate-covered cherries are good for you right? Cherries are fruit after all. And popcorn comes from corn! Definitely counts as a vegetable. So what if it didn’t involve caramel the first time around.

The best way to fight off the natural inclination of becoming a loafing college student suburb-zombie is to channel the fear that this situation becomes permanent into motivating yourself to succeed.

This little reminder of what life is like when a car is required to reach any destination is enough to get me studying, reviewing and generally preparing for returning to real life. Put in the perspective of everything I have been or gone through I’m able to see just how far I’ve come.

At the end of the day a little perspective never made anyone go crazy…