dondraperJust because you can type doesn’t mean you get Twitter.

Maybe you think you get it because you’ve been running a small business for twenty years.

Or because you’ve won a bunch of awards.

The bottom line is:

“Who you are speaks so loudly I can not hear what you say.”

Somebody said that 140 years ago and it’s something to consider when it comes to 140 characters.

I watched the tweetstream of one small PR firm go on and on and on last week about a couple of awards they were winning at some PR event put on by PR people to celebrate PR.

Riveting.

As I watched yet another tweet of “Mary Jo is going up on stage to get her award!” roll by on TweetDeck, I was reminded of how easy it is to show your true colors.

They probably thought that it was great stuff being able to tell all their “followers” how good they are at writing press releases.

Ask Gary Vaynerchuk, a guy who’s made millions selling wine with social media, what he thinks about press releases.

Or you can just watch him discuss it here.

Social media, Twitter, in particular, is not about broadcasting how great you think you are.  Especially when it is about something that is becoming less and less relevant for your clients (press releases).

If you are a small business owner considering hiring a firm or a freelancer to handle your social media, the first thing to do is to see how they use it for themselves.

It will tell you everything you need to know.

Take Twitter…

Is it all about them?  Do they engage with other people?  Do they have a strategy you can detect?  Do they say anything interesting?  Are they sharing useful information?  Do they simply talk to the same people over and over again, with no interest (and courage) in reaching out to people they don’t know?

There is one fundamental premise at work here.

Nobody cares.

Nobody cares about your project or your business or your awards.  We’re all too busy.  So unless what you are saying can help me, can solve my problem, you are talking in an echo chamber.

And that doesn’t help anyone.

It certainly doesn’t help you, it’s just a complete turnoff.

Get over yourself and be helpful to others.

That, it seems to me, is a success formula for Twitter.

If you have a better one, or more to add, let me know.