Technically Troy

Ideas in the Net

Like many on Twitter, I’m a lurker. I follow a lot of social media experts and do a lot of listening to what they have to say with all their great links, but as an introvert I had been reluctant to join in the conversation. Until I made a resolution this year to force myself to get more involved. Tool of the Resolution - Rocky Mountain News 1999 - Troy Surratt

I have a history with New Year’s resolutions. Right out of college I created a website that sent people “resolutions reminder” emails throughout the year to try to keep them on track. It was fairly successful, reaching over 10,000 subscribers at one point (and that was back in 1999 before the online explosion). More than anything, it got a lot of publicity from the media looking for New Year’s story ideas and just starting to highlight websites. The site was mentioned on CNN Headline News, TV Guide, Success Magazine, and I was interviewed on MSNBC. It probably helped me get a few jobs too.

Twitter wasn’t a complete mystery. I had managed Twitter accounts for work previously (posting organizational news primarily), but I figured that my personal introduction to Twitter as individual contributor was going to be a 3-step process.

  • Follow and learn. Search for as many influential social media tweeters I could find and see how they operate. I had already been doing that for months.
  • Simple interaction. I set a new goal at the start of Feburary to contact one new person on Twitter a day.
  • Express yourself. In March, the new goal was to continue contacting one new person a day, but also put out at least one of my own thoughts every day.


#FebResolution to be more social on #socialmedia. They call it that for a reason! Interact with at least 1 new networking contact a day.
@TechnicallyTroy
Troy Surratt

I post a lot more now, but have to say that I still feel like I’m at the beginning of my Twitter journey. Forcing myself to interact on a daily basis, though, really has made me more comfortable moving forward. It’s a similar process I share with others who have asked me about how to get started. Even if you want to do a lot of talking, there is a lot of benefit in using Twitter to follow others and reach out to leaders you might not have access to otherwise. Once you’re ready and want to participate more (but aren’t necessarily outgoing to naturally jump right in) then going about it this way may help if you’re like me.

Twitter Counter for TechnicallyTroy Something else happens when you become more active on Twitter. As you can see in the graph to the left, my followers really jumped with my increased daily activity.

I didn’t have perfect attendance in my Twitter daily interaction goals, but came fairly close. Sometimes my posts were after midnight into the next day technically, but it really was just a couple of days that I didn’t post something for one reason or another (usually something crazy at work). I met a lot of great people through the process — some living close to me, some with my same career position, and some just a lot of fun. Big events (like the Super Bowl) and Twitter chats (like #BlogChat) really helped me knock out those daily goals and feel more social online. Now that I am, hopefully bigger and better things ahead.

And now that I can talk to people on Twitter, maybe someday I’ll talk to them more in real life. Sounds like a new resolution, huh? One step at a time…


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