Today’s Twitter Rules by Bob Lefsetz

authorBob Lefsetz writes the Lefsetz Lettter (compulsive reading for we ageing music fans). Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.Never boring, always entertaining, Bob’s insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music’s American division and consultancies to major labels.


Nothing will get someone to unfollow you faster than constant links to your appearances online, trying to bolster your brand. We already follow you, we believe in you, we want to bond with you, but when you keep selling to us it’s a turn-off.


First and foremost, Twitter is a news service. Informing your followers is the number one thing you can do. Turn them on to stories that give them insight into popular topics and expand their horizons. You’re a courier, your personal curation skills are your calling card. We’re all hoovering up information, we’re looking to separate the wheat from the chaff, if you come across a brilliant analysis, tweet it, if you stumble upon a story that fleshes out a popular topic, tweet it, we’re following your intellect, your curiosity, more than your shenanigans.


We want to bond with you. In a cold world of endless messages we want to have friends. Just don’t tweet links, add some spin. Either your opinion or your emotional reaction.


Those trying to appeal to everybody appeal to nobody. Your edge is your advantage. Don’t worry about alienating some mythical segment of the population, everyone is never gonna follow you, there’s a huge tribe with similar viewpoints if you can just find it.


If you’re tweeting all day it shows you have no life, that you’re trying to become famous, and that’s a turn-off. If you’re at an event, feel free to go on a tweetstorm, as long as it’s informative and not just “look at me!” Otherwise, limit your tweets to four or five a day…certainly fewer than ten. If you’re thinking about your online life, about what you’re going to tweet next, you’re doing it wrong. You should encounter something, whether it be online or in real life, and be so inspired you want to tweet about it.


If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. There’s someone who’s gonna hate everything you say, if for no other reason than you have followers and they don’t. In an anonymous world, haters just double down. Ignore them. Don’t even bother to unfollow them, that shows they’ve gotten to you.


Sure, post your cat videos, other heartstring-pullers, but know it’s a low, gutter activity, he’s who’s trolling for love is ultimately unlovable, because they don’t love themselves.


Only matter if you’re not trying to rally support. Twitter is very intimate. We want to know what’s going on in your head. If you’re trying to build a movement… That had better be your main goal of being on Twitter. And never forget, further fame for yourself, or furtherance of your artistic career, is not a qualifying movement.


Jammed up in traffic? In the midst of a natural disaster? Tweet about it! Skilled users search for keywords. Forget hashtags, that’s for those looking for fame, a false enterprise. When I’m stuck on the 101 I search that highway and the Hollywood Bowl and I find out what’s slowing me down. As for those too ignorant or unskilled to do this? Forget about them. Online is for those who’ve learned on the fly, who are curious, who want more. Twitter is the land of power users. But you can enjoy the site quite a lot without being one, it’s just a different experience.


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