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Tips From the Twitter Elite

The Who's Who of twitter were out in full force at this week's 140 Conference at the Los Angeles Skirball Center. I got to heckle speakers with @adventuregirl (+1 million followers), talk branding strategy with @ijustine (700,000 followers), and speak on a panel with @pistachio (author of Twitter for Dummies).

I gathered a few unique insights from these twitter elite, and wanted to share them with my readers:.

1). Tweeting is a profession: both @adventuregirl and @ijustine spoke of twitter as a full time job, and admitted to being constantly connected to their computer. Unless you're already an A-list celebrity, the twitter elite rose to fame through hundreds of hours of painstaking dedication (and, if you are an A-list celebrity, thank you for reading my blog and I'd like to have my own reality show :) ).

2). Give more than thou receive: Both the traditional celebrities and the Internet celebrities were unanimous on one strategy: promote others more than you promote yourself.

3). Be undeniably genuine: @pistachio and @obamagardens, both of whom raised much of their $100,000+ for charity with under 5,000 followers, used multimedia to display themselves as the passionate givers they actually are. @pistachio quickly raised a crucial $2,000 to meet a deadline by pleading with fans on ustream. @obamagardens snaps candid photos of smiling people holding his gorgeous flower bouquets (notice the blurry one of Tony Robbins’ wife).

4). Thank (nearly) every @reply or retweet: @ijustine stunned the celebrity panel when she admitted to personally thanking the thousands of people who mention her on twitter (a fact which she had to reaffirm after several probing questions of disbelief). How is this possible to do without clogging up one’s twitter stream with those annoying @replys? A couple of ways:

a). Send a direct message "thank you."

b). Open an alternative account for use with @replys

c). Use a clever bit.ly trick: go to search.twitter.com. In the panel, search your twitter name and copy the URL from the results. Then, shorten the URL at bit.ly and say something like "Thanks to all the great comments: please check these wonderful peeps http://bit.ly/13LMi6"

5). Keep it simple: No fancy software is needed to manage +1 million followers. Some just use twitter.com; I heard some use tweetdeck.

Well, I for one am taking this advice and joining up a charitable cause at Stephen Colbert’s Donor’s Choose "Social Media Challenge." Feel Free to join the 140 Twitter Conference group, start your own group, or experiment with an entirely different charity. @reply me with your experience, and, of course, I’ll be sure to respond back,

Greg Ferenstein

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