Note: This is a work in progress. Rather than finish it in one go, I'm updating it live as a draft document as I learn new things about Twitter. Last update: 2022-06-15

I am, at heart, a long form blogger. Still – the cool kids, as they say – these days are all on twitter (and, yes, I know by saying it that way, I'm dating myself even further; so be it; it amuses me).

I find myself, here in 2022, wanting to get a better handle on Twitter. This will be a regularly updated blog post summarizing what I've learned.

Rule 0: You Are Screaming Into the Void

The first thing to understand is that Twitter as a whole is enormous and no one is going to notice, or even care, that you are there. There is very much an aspect of screaming into the void.

Rule 1: You Are Going to Have to Work to Get Noticed

When a social media is new then can be easy to get established. When a social media already exists though, it is a lot of work to establish yourself. You need to throw away any expectations that you are going to be successful on Twitter quickly and get ready for a long grind of creating content.

Rule 2: Hash Tags

A hash tag is an identifier that describes your content. What I have noticed is that without hash tags, my content may as well not exist. Add hash tags to your tweet just by adding a hash mark or # to the end of your tweets.

Rule 3: @ sign Someone if It is Relevant

Rule 4: Direct Messaging People on Twitter is Quite Real

Rule 5: Check Your Mentions

Rule 6: Keep At It

Rule 7: Decide On Your One Metric

Twitter has a number of metrics:

  • Followers
  • Retweets
  • Likes
  • Mentions

Trying to pay attention to all of these at once is, for someone who isn't metric oriented and isn't a marketer, a kind of sucky experience. My choice was that I was going to use my Followers count as the metric. When I started this experiment, I had 207 followers. Now I have 209 followers. Progress???

Rule 8: Experiment and Learn from It

Rule 9: Don't Just Tweet Your Own Stuff

Imagine Twitter as if it was a party. If you are only posting your own stuff, it is analogous to that dude bro at a party who only talks about himself. Figure out the intersection between your own content (for me that's ruby / rails / cloud) and stuff that other people talk about. And then when you find something that's in that intersection, that is what you should tweet / retweet / like.

Rule 11: Flow and Tone Matter