This is a guest post by Mary DeMuth, a gal I first stumbled upon several years ago thanks to her great blog. Mary is one of the only successful authors I know about to write and publish both fiction and non-fiction — which I find nothing short of incredible.
Social media tends to come naturally to me. Not because I’m techno-girl or I’m always chasing new platforms, but because I’m fascinated by people. By nature I’m a connector, so Twitter pitter-patters my relational heart.
I don’t have hoards of followers, but I do have engaged folks who interact often and retweet. I hope it’s because I’ve learned how to live openhearted before them, embracing my me-ness and delivering quirky, helpful content.
My latest book, The Wall Around Your Heart, (link: http://amzn.to/15Q19xh) is my personal manifesto of living a risk-taking and openhearted life. It’s about learning to move on after people have hurt you, choosing to re-engage in life in the aftermath of relational heartache.
That desire to be tenaciously openhearted translates into my Twitter account, and that same trait has been the key to growing my online presence. Here are 5 Secrets to openhearted tweeting.
1. Be you.
People like to follow people, not robots or caricatures. Embrace your uniqueness. You won’t be @Claire. You won’t be @MaryDeMuth either. You’re your best when you’re @you. Don’t be afraid to share work frustration, dark chocolate exclamation, blog infatuation, political damnation, but be sure to do so with grace. Err on the side of your own voice.
2. Be them.
(By now you’re thinking I’m crazy, but hang with me.) Being openhearted means keeping your audience in mind, putting yourself in their shoes, and as Atticus Finch says, walking around in them a little while. Tweet things that will stun, fascinate or woo. This social media gig is not about you; it’s about them.
3. Be worthy.
When you tweet or blog or write essays or books, you must-must-must settle your worth first. Write from a place of utter, true abundance. The world needs your message shared with confidence. You are loved. You are valuable. Your words may just change the world. Don’t live small.
4. Be generous.
When others retweet you, thank them. While it may be impossible to interact with everyone who gives you social media high-fives, you can choose to respond to a few. This is about fostering relationships with simple gratitude.
5. Be opposite.
Twitter can often be an all-the-awesome-things-I-do novella, so much so that you can turn into a Brian Regan “Me Monster.” Be the opposite. Be the nerd. Be the fearful one. The most generous writing, even in 140 characters, is sharing your foibles and others’ feats. Be willing to be vulnerably honest about your shortcomings, and trumpet other people’s heroism.
Openhearted tweeting has grown my following in meaningful ways. I have met amazing people because of it—folks I now call friends, who I’ve shared meals and laughter with. The best compliment? When a Twitter follower says, “You’re just like I imagined you’d be.” That’s the power of daring to live openhearted in the social media space.
So what about you? Do you follow the practices of open-hearted tweeting?
Mary DeMuth is the author of fifteen books, including her latest, The Wall Around Your Heart. She’s spoken around the country and the world about living an uncaged life. She’s lived in the south of France with her husband and three children and now makes her home in Texas.