I’m fortunate to work with Dorie Clark, as her social media co-ordinator. It’s an honor, not least because of Dorie’s amazing books, including Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out—works that have made a big difference in my life. As a writer myself, it’s very meaningful for me to support a gifted author, leader, and speaker like Dorie, be part of her community, and help spread the word about her important work. What's more, Dorie, like me, is LGBTQ+, and—both as a friend and a professional—has always been very embracing towards my identity, especially when I came out as non-binary. I so appreciate her political and LGBTQ+ activism too, as well as her empowering writing and speaking.
Anyway, after several rather quiet years of doing this work, I’ve decided it’s time to start sharing what I’ve learned. So here are three top Twitter tips of mine. I hope they're helpful.
No. 1: “Thank you” is a golden phrase. What to do when someone shares your post, but in doing so, says something you don’t agree with? Or what if, due to unclear expression, you’re unsure whether they support your post or not? Golden rule: If the energy is well-meaning, it’s always good to thank. “Thank you for your share!” is polite, grateful, and courteous. And when it feels right, it can often be a great way to move towards further conversation. Often, in my various roles, I see beautiful opportunities blossom because of a thank you. Gratitude, no matter how simple, can open up the energy and let interaction flow.
But such opportunities aren’t why we should thank—and they never must be. We thank because, when folks try to help us, we need to acknowledge their gift. A good thank you blesses both giver and receiver, and is never wasted.
No. 2: Be in the moment, not an “angler.” When you appreciate others and acknowledge them, something wonderful happens. You receive proof, undeniable proof, that the littlest exchanges can bring joy. Conversely, you also begin to recognize when people are angling for something. This “angling” doesn’t necessarily make the compliments or kindnesses less real—it simply adds to the energy of getting rather than being. And once an exchange is about trying to get something, the joy is often dampened.
Also, in my experience, you’re less likely to get something if you’re angling. Allow life to surprise you, however, as you continue to be helpful, grateful and authentic, and opportunities will come—perhaps when you least expect them. Shared joy is its own reward, but angling, it seems, is rarely rewarded.
No. 3: Direct address brings warmth. I used to be a UK classroom teacher, and that’s where I first learned the value of names. If you don’t know the names of the children in your class, you not only lose the ability to organize your classroom, but also the ability to truly connect. When we use each other’s names, we reach out and say, “I acknowledge you as a unique person with a way of your own.” So, when I say, “Thank you!” on Twitter, it isn’t quite as warm as, “Thank you, name!” or “Thank you, @Handle!” I especially like using tags this way, as you don’t even have to know whether a Katharine is a Kath or a Deepak is a Dee. Tags, used in such a way, also bring visibility, as well as authenticity and warmth—not to mention a sense of appreciation in what is often a cold outside world. That’s why I recommend using handles, not just to point things out to people or address folks, but to honor their uniqueness and express gratitude for who they truly are.
Dorie and I have also co-authored posts at Entrepreneur and Forbes, the most recent of which is entitled, How Entrepreneurs Can Break Into High-Profile Publications.