Twitter tip of the week: It’s not me, it’s you |

Twitter tip of the week: It’s not me, it’s you

I long ago lost track of how many Twitter accounts I’ve watched go from hyperactive to inactive. I’ve even lost track of how many High Country-based Twitter accounts I’ve seen abandoned. From local small shops on Main Street to local businesses purporting to offer social media expertise, I sit back and observe people abandon account after account.

Let’s make one thing clear from the get-go. I’m far, far from being the world’s top social media expert. But as good ol’ Jay-Z would put it: I ain’t passed the bar, but I know a lil’ bit. So here are my two cents: It seems to me that most people abandon Twitter because they never understand the purpose of it all. They experience no benefits. They receive no enjoyment. There’s no ROI to be found. People come to see tweeting as time-consuming, pointless work.

And so they drop it. Which is totally understandable. After all, how many people would keep running miles and miles every week if the effort didn’t make them feel healthy? How many business owners would continue to work day after day if they never made a cent or helped a single person? Some, perhaps. But not many.

The number one reason, I believe, businesses and individuals reach the “This is a total waste of my time” conclusion is because they spent much of their Twitter time tweeting about and thinking about … themselves. They spent their time acting self-centered. Me me me me, look at me. My business, my business, my business: listen to me tell you all about my business so you’ll buy from me!

In the past half year I watched a local business repeatedly send out Tweets that followed the same formulas: “Have xyz problem? Visit my website!” and “Did you know my service can help xyz problem? Visit my website!” How many people outside of the High Country do you think found these tweets helpful or interesting? (Actually, how many people in the High Country found these tweets helpful or interesting?) These types of tweets are nothing more than ads. The people behind these Twitter accounts are pumping out a constant stream of ads. And seriously now – that’s annoying.

Everywhere we go, everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by ads. All day. Every day. The last thing we want is to hop on Twitter and listen to people talk on endlessly about themselves or encourage everyone within earshot to buy their products. (And yes, there are exceptions. Plenty of people do love to hear what Lance Armstrong is thinking, what Shaq is going to eat tonight, and what Kim Kardashian is going to wear on Thursday.)

Spewing constant advertisements and constantly talking about one’s self on Twitter rarely returns the magic results so many expect. And you know why? It’s because Twitter isn’t about you. It’s about other people. It’s about meeting, learning about, caring about, asking questions of, answering questions for, introducing, and connecting with other people.

We don’t want to spend our time listening to you talk about yourself or your business all day long (whether on Twitter or in real life). Instead, we use Twitter to become friends with, learn from, help, promote, and consider doing business with people we like and trust. We’re not going to like and trust you when you just sit there and dish out a constant stream of ads.

No. We’re going to start liking and trusting you when you stop talking about yourself and start caring, listening, and connecting with us. And when you do, you’ll finally start to see-if only for a little bit at first-how Twitter can actually be a valuable tool for your life and/or your business.

1. – So why did Apple decide to ban Flash from the iPhone and iPad?

2. – Learn how Twitter and Facebook helped travelers during the Iceland volcano eruption.

3. – Let’s all come together and help a fellow Summit Countian out, shall we? Dear Breckenridge reader Jenise Jensen shot me an e-mail explaining how she’s taken a great deal of her time, energy, and love for our local ski areas and created a video entry for a Vail Resorts contest. The contest winner earns an (unpaid) position blogging for Vail Resorts next year, receiving only a season pass and a camera to assist in their season-long efforts. Sounds like a lot of work to me, but Jenise is passionate and genuine about wanting to share her love of our area – so let’s help her out! Visit this site and click the “VOTE” link next to the video. That’s it! If we all take just a moment out of our day to click this one button (we’re talking minimal effort here, people), we can help one of our Summit County friends win a position for which she’s worked so hard.

eRin pheiL is the owner of timeforcake (, a web design and development studio in Frisco, CO. She can be reached via email at

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