My experience making friends on twitter
September 16, 2021
Time to start writing 😛 I recently started to "get serious" about twitter. I have had an account since 2014 or so, but didn't fully understand how beneficial it could be or how to use the platform. I treated it like most other platforms, just posting random crap and hoping people would like it.
But everything changed this past July when I found @meetkevon's free email course about making friends on twitter. His approach was so much different than anything I had ever done.
I don't quite remember how I found this resource or Kevon, but it has changed my outlook for online friendships. I actually have conversations with other people online! And it's actually fun to go on twitter now.
I had heard it changed people's lives, but only after using it to MEET PEOPLE did I understand how that could be true.
There are a few pieces to making friends online.
- Posting helpful, engaging, and entertaining content
- Interacting with others in the open
- Send personalized DMs to further conversation
The key is to interact with other people like they're people. Show you care enough to learn about them. Be a friend to make a friend.
Engaging with empathy
I have to admit, using twitter in this way takes A LOT more time and effort. Engaging with people can feel impersonal if you're not actively thinking about how there's a person on the other side of your comments. You need to empathize and realize you're talking with real people with real feelings and a real life they're living.
Without empathy, twitter will feel like a slog. You can't expect to be a jerk and grow a following (I'm sure there are exceptions)
But the point is to think about others and what they're going through. They are also probably struggling to put out content on twitter. Maybe they have been interacting with some unkind folks on twitter or in the real world.
You can certainly disagree online, but don't start attacking people because of it. Simply state your differing viewpoint and dialog about it.
Interact in public
Interacting in public is the equivalent of meeting in a group setting. There's less pressure, others are around to talk to, and the group can talk. This is the best scene to meet new people.
I have new people comment on my tweets constantly. This is an opportunity to meet someone new and engage with them. Have a conversation, appreciate their time for commenting.
Take a moment to check out their profile. Maybe they have a website with more about them. Bring what you find back to your conversation with them.
And don't be afraid to follow people in a different field or with different interests. It's good to diversify your inputs.
What to post about
Coming up with content is difficult at first. It takes real mental energy and you haven't practiced keeping an eye out for topics or interests.
I recommend riffing off of content you find. This topic for today is inspired by @meetkevon. Other people are just expanding on previously shared ideas or simply writing their take on the same topic.
But to generate your own ideas, you can't mindlessly scroll through twitter or read articles. Take notes and process ideas. Jot down ideas when inspiration strikes.
If you have something to add, comment on the tweet. Maybe your conversation will spark a thought based on previous experience. Repurpose that conversation as a writing prompt.
Look for what some are struggling with. Share your knowledge about a topic in a helpful way. You have a unique perspective.
Even if the topic has been discussed before, you could have something new to add. Maybe the way you present it will help someone who's been stuck for a while.
I used to hold myself back by thinking, "Someone has already talked about this. No one wants to read about this again." This is SOOO limiting! There are hundreds and thousands of articles about the same exact topic online. People read more than one piece about the same topic.
It might have been a while since they thought about what you're exploring. Just share it!
Make your profile align with your content
The biggest game changer for me was fleshing out my profile. I didn't have a great understanding of what a profile should be, but let me share how I think about it now.
Your profile shows new people what you have to offer them. It could be a journey to follow, consistent content about a topic, or even just an entertaining personality.
The important thing is to think about what you offer to someone who follows you.
Here's my current bio:
Heyo! I'm an Indie founder tweeting about web dev and self improvement 📖 Building http://topple.netlify.app · Raising 2 young boys
I've labeled myself as an Indie founder. This tells people that I'm building something.
I tweet about web development and self improvement. This can change down the road, but it's where I'm at right now.
"Raising 2 young boys" shows I am a father (and likely a husband) without explicitly saying it.
@seanwes wrote in his book Overlap that people are going to put you in a box whether you like it or not. So you should define the box that they put you in. That's what your bio is doing, defining the box that people can put you in.
Direct message are the final piece of the puzzle. This is where you make a personal connection and hopefully a friend.
Once you learn to make human connections online, nothing is going to stop you. Many are on twitter to engage and meet people.
Think about how you would introduce yourself after brushing shoulders in a public place. That's all a DM is, a 1-on-1 conversation after ideally "brushing shoulders" on a public tweet.
Don't overthink it, just introduce yourself and talk with them about a shared interest or to further a conversation that started in public. This will help solidify the friendship and you'll both know each other better.
That's where I'm at with making friends on twitter. It's been a wild ride for the past 2 months. You learn a lot by trial and error. Find out what's working, don't be discouraged by slow growth, and have fun!
Don't take it too seriously, be willing to laugh at yourself in life. It's not going to be easy, but the best things in life take work.
See you tomorrow!