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It's not the winning, it's the taking part.

We all know this saying right?! And in so many respects it's true, even Twitter. In fact in Twitter it is the taking part that's the winning.

Confused? Then read on...

It's always been a bugbear of mine - shortcuts, cheat sheets, people just want the quick fix. I guess it's a product of our busy society; so much going on, so little time. I always sell the idea of Twitter to people as "a free tool available to all..." But it does cost something - time. Be prepared to put some into Twitter if you eventually want to get something out.

I am often asked how to save time on Twitter (me, the person on it 16 hours a day). There are some great ways to save time, and I demonstrate many of them in Twitter school and our workshops in Warwick. But here's the thing; none of them replace putting your actual time in. None of them. I have achieved some great things on Twitter because I use it, I use it well, but I use it a lot. Schedules and auto-tweets aside, it's the conversation, the interaction that gets things done on Twitter. WarwickTweetup is a local phenomenon and many want our help. I get emails and tweets everyday asking to spread the word, or share a story. Sure I can do that, and I always do. The only problem with this is, do people really want to read my retweets, or do they want to read the tweets that correlate to my bio? People follow an account for what it can offer them. I always wonder why people beg celebs for retweets, I never read those - do you?

I've always been a Twitter fan. Facebook annoys me, LinkedIn I didn't understand, so like I've mentioned before, I misunderstood and then feared it. The past month though, I listened to my own advice and applied it to other social networks.

Wow, what a difference!

My pages on Facebook are getting more reach and exposure, and my connections on LinkedIn have improved overnight. It really doesn't pay to turn up to a social network... and not be social! It's very obvious. I proved it with the reverse too. I didn't tweet for a couple of days (from any of my accounts) and noticed that it's incredible how little happens when I don't turn up - in fact nothing on some occasions. Turning up and contributing to Twitter, and Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube or whichever you use is vital.

"There are no real shortcuts in life."

I heard this somewhere (I forget where) but it's exactly how I attack life in general. Put in more than you want to get out. Those who put little in and get lots out are either very lucky, or not telling you the full story. Today I saw some generic, and quite frankly bad automatic posting by a local gastro pub. I thought OK, maybe this works for them? I checked out their account and looked through their @mentions. They had very few, and looking at the tweets, it was obvious they just ignore them anyway. They had posted a question a few days prior though. 'Encouraging,' I thought, 'maybe they do get it?!' Actually no, when I checked the mentions around the time they posted the question, people did answer their question, but they ignored them, and probably logged off. Fail!

My number one tip?

Use it or lose them!

People follow you on Twitter for your updates, your conversation and what you can do for them. It's not about you, you, you, it's about them, them, them. Show up or give up. It's that simples.

Twitter costs time, and we all know what happens when you buy something on the cheap!

Comments welcomed @Warwicktweetup

Proofread by @pinky_princess check out her services here on her website

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