Sunday March 21, 2010 0 comments
As I teach more people about Twitter, quite often I get asked about the "trivial" stuff that people say in Twitter, like, what they're about to eat for lunch or that they're standing in line at the grocery store and how slow the clerk is going--stuff like that. The "outsiders" (those who are uninitiated in the ways of Twitter) make fun of Twitter and say a lot of its content is so unimportant.
But you know what? Those observations of the simple moments in life should probably be shared with your Twitter followers because it's the "trivial" stuff that bonds us together and builds community.
I know, I know... I can see you shaking your head and about to hit the back button in your browser because I, too, resisted the so-called "mundane" tweet for the longest time. In the beginning, I was so serious, you'd think I was made of wires and metal, like my computer.
But I'm only human.
In "real life" I would never go around spouting serious thoughts all the time, never smiling or laughing. That's just not me. What would people think of me if I tweeted unimportant things like "On my way to pick up my son at football practice...his first season and he's doing great. I'm so proud of him."
But, like I said, I'm only human. So that's why, a couple years ago, I decided to be ME on Twitter. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I am shallow, sometimes I'm deep, sometimes I pray for many people, and sometimes I just joke around, in addition to sharing my expertise and linking to other people's content (and my own) that could be very helpful to my followers. I try not to complain too much, just like in real life. And once in a while, I toot my own horn and share a success story, too. Bottomline: I try to be real.
Here's an example of a "trivial" conversation...
One morning I discovered I had no half-n-half creamer for my coffee. I actually said out loud to myself: "Oh, no! No half-n-half for my coffee?!" Then I remembered I had non-diary creamer in the cupboard that my hubby had bought once, a long time ago. So, because I dislike black coffee, I poured some non-dairy creamer into my coffee. Better than nothing, I figured. After adding my sweetener, I sat down in front of my laptop and tweeted the following:
"Out of my fat-free half-n-half cream ...forced to drink non-diary creamer in my coffee...how could I let this happen?"
Note: the rest of the conversation was pretty much like this (going by memory):
One of my followers chimed in with a tweet that said:
"@LoriGama I feel your pain. I'm going through the same thing myself right now."
Then a friend of mine, whom I know in "real life," tweeted this:
"@LoriGama Fat-free half-n-half? What's the point of drinking half-n-half if it's fat-free?
I responded to him with this:
"LOL ...I guess you're right... But it makes me feel a little better to know it's not quite as fattening as the regular stuff."
So there you have an example of what's known among some people as "trivial" or the "mundane" stuff in life that people tweet about. But, my dear friends, that "trivial stuff" is exactly what pulls us together as a community and endears us to each other. When we share the every day things that happen to us, whether they be as unimportant as running out of half-n-half creamer or what a box of oranges smells like (yes, I tweeted about that, too, once), we become real, we become closer. We become a community. That's one way you can build a Twitter community of fans and friends. These are people who want to follow you because they really like you.
So, that morning, I expressed my slightly uncomfortable situation (--uncomfortable, relative to myself, and yes, I am very grateful that was my only "problem" that morning, as many other people in the world have way more to deal with) and someone else totally related to it, and was, in fact, going through the same thing herself, at the same moment. She responded to my tweet and we co-miserated for a moment. Another friend jumped into the conversation and we all had a laugh.
Here's something else really important to note about the "trivial" Tweets:
My two Twitter friends and I could have been talking about something more important than coffee creamer and we would have probably bonded even deeper to each other. Bottomline: be authentic and human to your degree of comfort.
Do remember that whatever you talk about in your Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook, many, many people are watching and listening to you. Though it might seem like no one is looking, trust me, there are dozens (and some of us have hundreds or thousands) of people who read your tweets and never respond but continue to form an opinion about you, to silently cheer you on and become more deeply entrenched in your Twittersphere (your Twitter universe). Whatever is said in the Twittersphere, stays in the Twittersphere but you know what? The "Twittersphere" is quickly becoming our world. Our tweets are included in Google search results. We are everywhere and that's why we need to be responsible as we are being authentic.
Please tweet me or leave your thoughts in the comment section of this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts, no matter how "trivial" you think they might be.