…In 6 easy steps
Author Liel Leibovitz’s article Communication Breakdown: Dispatches from the Virtual World posits the notion that blogs and twitter are contributing to the “thinning of language” and are “starved forms of communications that favor the quick and the inconsequential while remaining unsuited for thoughts that may take space to unfold and time to read…” He feels that the Internet is doing nothing less than “killing off the Jewish mind.” As Jews we ought to be particularly concerned by these developments because we are after all, “The people of the Book.”
Of course, many would disagree with Leibovitz. Particularly the army of “Social Media Consultants” that seem to have sprung up overnight with the advent of twitter. Well, I imagine they would disagree if they stepped away from their tweetdecks long enough to actually read Leibovitz’s entire article. For folks who spend their days consuming information in 140 character chunks, this might be a bit difficult.
But this is not the point of this post. These are tough economic times. People need to find work. At the same time, the organized Jewish community is despairing at its inability to attract the new generation of plugged in, hip, tech savvy young people. They’ve barely set up their facebook accounts and now there’s this twitter thing that at first glance, seems totally retarded. So why not recast yourself as a Social Media Consultant and get paid big bucks to teach these old fogies how to promote their organizations using twitter? Hey, I’ll even show you how!
Step 1: Open a twitter account at twitter.com
Step 2: Twitter.com’s interface limits your ability to read tweets from people you are not following (yet). So get something like TweetDeck that allows you to search all tweets based on keywords and auto-refreshes so that you don’t have to!
Step 3: Get as many “followers” as possible. Followers are people who receive your insightful 140 character (or less) messages. These messages can contain relevant links, photos or mere observations. Twitter will help you find people you know when you register by using the contacts in your email account, but really, how many people do you actually know? 200? 300? That’s not enough for a true Social Media Consultant! You need to expand your circle of friends…
Step 4 : Expand your circle of friends by participating in events that are being live tweeted – this means that audience members using twitter enabled phones or laptops will be tweeting their observations and using a hash tag in their tweets. Thus, if you are at an event called “the Jewish Social Media Consultant Expo 2009,” attendees and organizers might agree to use #JSMCX09 as the official hash tag. Simply add “#JSMCX09? to the end of your tweets and everyone will be able to read what you say. These events are often streamed live online so you don’t have to actually even be there and you can comment on other people’s tweets as well. Write good tweets and people will follow you! Follow everyone you can and about 20-30% will follow you back even if you’re totally stupid. But wait, this can take time and there aren’t always appropriate networking events and conferences to go to. So this leads us to…
Step 5: Expand your followers by following up to 500 people at a time using relevant keywords (ie if you want to specialize in Jews, use “Jewish”) and Twollo.com . When you mass follow people, usually 20%-30% of them will follow you back, so following 500 people should get you around 100 followers at a time, or more! After two or three weeks you could have nearly 2000 followers! That’s good right? Any self respecting Social Network Consultant should have at least that many followers, but a superstar SNC needs thousands and thousands of followers in order to make a serious impact!
Getting beyond 2000 followers is tough because after you follow 2000 people, twitter puts on the brakes. You cannot be following more than 2000 people unless you have at least 2000 followers. It’s a little more complicated than that, because after you follow 2000 people, the 10% rule kicks in. Thus if you have lets say 1900 followers, you cannot follow more than 10% above that number – meaning 1900 + 190. So at 1900 followers, you can only follow 2090 people. Thus what you have to do is stop following people that do not follow you. Finding out who these people are manually is difficult and time consuming and takes away from your important twittering time, which leads us to the next step…
Step 6: Mass delete people you follow who are not following you by using Twitter Karma . This will reduce the number of people you are following and allow you to follow others who might follow you back.
Follow these steps and you will develop an army of followers who you will have to keep entertained and informed. But these followers will also give you great credibility with the Jewish Organizations you wish to recruit as paying customers. Soon you will be publicizing events and initiatives and sharing your knowledge of the Internet at well paying speaking engagements and seminars!
It doesn’t matter if you can’t write well. It doesn’t matter if you actually know next to nothing about the Internet – just repeat the usual catch phrases you hear others say, like new paradigm, social entrepreneurship, Web 2.0, Generation-Y etc. etc. And it doesn’t matter that a big chunk of your followers may not actually be Jewish – because, to paraphrase a popular saying – on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a goy.
ADDENDUM! Step 7: As a newly minted Social Network Consultant you might find that your customers still just don’t get twitter. They may decide that rather than tweeting themselves, they’d rather hire hip, happening you to twitter their tweets. Yay! Steady giggage! But wait! How do you tweet multiple accounts simultaneously?? Do you have to continuously log in and log out? No! You’re a busy Social Network Consultant with things to do and places to be! Busy and smart because you will use Hootsuite or Splitweet to tweet from multiple twitter accounts simultaneously. Which is best? They each have their own pros and cons – hootsuite is used by large organizations while Splitweet has a cute little purple mascot. It’s your call!
More reading (if you have the time in between speaking engagements and lattés):?
- The 2000 Following Limit On Twitter
- 5 Tips to Grow Your Twitter Presence (from whom I totally stole this post’s graphic)
David Abitbol is the founder of Jewlicious.