How to Change the World in 140 Characters

By Keianna Rae Harrison for INSPIRE: The Blog at Mompreneur Ink

This post contains an affiliate link.

Short answer: You Can’t

But if you’re authentic and your posts are helpful, solve problems, provide useful information, and/or add a thought that provokes a smile to someone’s day, your chances of changing the world in multiple posts of 140 characters just quadrupled.

This is another one of those “This is not what I intended to write today” posts.

The #Virgo in me is literally having a raging fit because my to-do list from two days ago still isn’t complete…

She’s fussing at me saying, “Don’t you know we have more IMPORTANT things to do at the beginning of our day, Keianna?!?! This is NOT on the agenda.”

Hush, girl… I got this.

They say emotion makes for great content, and since I’m still irritated about this situation three days later, this one oughta be a doozy.

As I would say to my bestie:

“Girl, can you believe this happened?”

On Monday I was following my normal Twitter routine when I came across a PUBLICnotification that included my @mompreneur_ink handle in a message with some others (names omitted to protect the innocent).

I will lovingly refer to the sender of said message as the kitten-slayer.

The message read: “Every time you send a spammy auto-DM, the deity of your choice kills a kitten.”

Wait. What? Dead kittens? Really?

At first I thought it was spam… until I read further.

One of the other victims of the kitten-slayer had responded by asking her what she meant and a PUBLIC conversation followed, so I knew the kitten-slayer was real.

I chimed in and asked her what she was referring to for @mompreneur_ink.

DISCLAIMER: I’ve been actively using Twitter since 2008. I take social media very seriously and I have expressly FORBID any of the members on my team to “automate” any responses whatsoever. So the mention of an auto-DM immediately raised a red flag for me.

She replied that we’d sent her an auto-DM that read: “Thanks for following us. Please check out our Mompreneur of the Month.

She said we’d included a bit.ly link to the story about Nellie Akalp. (This is a VERY cool Mompreneur, btw). She said it was spammy and too long. She was irritated.

Lemme get this straight, kitten-slayer:

You’re mad because we thanked you for following us and invited you to read an article about a Mompreneur whose inspirational story can help your business?

Uhm… yeah. No.

And, not-so-ironically, that direct message to her was no auto-DM at all.

My team and I meet every morning online and chat about the day’s messaging.

I PERSONALLY write the messages I want my new followers to get on a DAILY BASIS, and then my awesome #virtual assistants use Sprout Social to reply to EACH AND EVERY NEW FOLLOWER from the day before…

Auto-DM, my arse, lady…

Oh, I was pissed.

For two reasons:

1) Don’t call me out in public in front of MILLIONS of people about something YOU THINK we did wrong on social media. That’s just poor social etiquette and that’s one of the GREAT things about Twitter’s DM feature. You can insult me privately.

2) Who died and left you the Twitter Queen giving you power to authorize the murder of innocent kittens just because you didn’t like my Twitter flow?

#Girlbye

So after I calmed down, I politely replied: “We don’t auto-anything. One woman’s spam is another woman’s greeting…”

And she had the NERVE to reply with another insult that included calling me a Twitter/blogger newbie type.

Newbie? Hmph!

Clearly she didn’t check me out before she came for me.

Like I said, I’ve been using Twitter since 2008, lil mama. *Down, ego. Down.*

And so the Twitter tete-a-tete began.

DISCLAIMER 2: I DO NOT condone or encourage public pissing contests of any type on social media. It too, is poor etiquette.

… but after the THIRD PUBLIC INSULT, my ego took over and she had it coming.

Lord forgive me.

I’ll spare you the ugly exchange, and say this much, three days later this is STILL bugging me.

RANT OVER.

Here’s the lesson:

I personally see/use/understand business-level social media for what it is — the world of “likes”.

I’m a willing participant in the like-love-exchange that goes something like this:

“You liked me.

I’ll like you.

-Or-

I like you.

Hopefully, you’ll like (or follow) me back. (Even though we don’t know each other and you have NO idea what my business REALLY does.)

-Or-

I like some of the stuff you say, so I’ll share it (retweet) with other people that I really don’t know, but seem to like this kind of stuff too.

Oh, and hopefully, all this like-love will translate into you buying something that I’m selling… even though at this point you STILL probably have no idea what I’m selling.”

So with that all said:

“How Can You Change the World in 140 Characters?”

It’s been said that you can’t change the world in 140 characters, but here’s a list of tips so you can try…

The truth is, you can’t.

But you can make an impact by being a real person who is truly interested in making professional connections and growing your network organically.

You can do it in two words:

Be. Authentic.

Behave on social media as you would in person. Treat people as if they are people and use the manners your Mama taught you.

If you were face-to-face with a person and you didn’t like the way they said hello, you wouldn’t ask God to murder their kitten in real life, so don’t be a jerk on social media.

Never call people out and insult them just because you can hide behind your computer.

Think about the message you want to convey and how any information you have can be helpful to the people reading your posts.

Include a video, image or link to that helpful content in your message.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself (and others) about subject lines, headlines, images, videos and everything else in social media.

Just be yourself. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

To test this theory, imagine yourself standing in a room with all those people who follow you. Say out loud to your imaginary audience what you’re planning to type and send.

Does it sound authentic? Is it helpful? Useful?

Does it solve a problem?

Yes?

Post it.

No?

DE-LETE. Try again.

Save your random thoughts and insults for your journal…

Watch your hashtags.

That catchy hashtag you think you just came up with in your head? You’re probably not the first one to think of it.

Chances are the other person(s) who used it, didn’t do so in the same way you did or would want it used.

Remember, hashtags connect you to others using the same hashtag.

Be aware of the company you keep.

Lastly, even though I don’t do it, it’s totally OK to:

Automate your Tweets, carefully.

But if you do, they should be authentic, not be overly generic and follow the guidelines I gave you.

Ok, that’s it for now. I’ve gotta get back to my regularly scheduled, non-automated blog and social media posts for today before that #Virgo girl inside my head strokes out…

So, tell me, was this post useful? Did you learn anything? How do you Twitter?

To your success!