What Separates Twitter Elites from Novices? Just Time, Really

If you’ve ever look at Twitter superstars and sighed, thinking you could never be that interesting, involved and active in just 140 characters at a time, you’re not alone. You’re also not right. You can master Twitter yourself, it just takes a little time.

Those Twitter elites you see, tweeting 20+ times a day, engaging with all of their followers and just generally being amazing were once like you: new, scared of sending out the “wrong” tweet, not quite grasping the difference between @replies and @mentions, and overwhelmed by a constant stream of information.

It’s true. They haven’t always been perfect tweeters.

You, the Twitter novice, are just carving out your small niche in the social media space, while they have an established and respected brand. But they got there by starting at the bottom, just like you. Even Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) had to scrape out his Twitter presence slowly in the beginning, despite his big name and his challenge with CNN.

Think back to when you first signed up for Twitter. Were you confused? Scared? I bet you didn’t know what a retweet was until you tried it out a few times, or asked some friends. And “tagging” people in tweets? Forget about it.

But now, you’re a bit more confident than that, aren’t you? If you see a tweet you find interesting, you just click “retweet” and you know it gets sent to your followers – even if you don’t know quite how. And you can now comfortably add the @username to the end of your tweets, and you know – just through trial and error – that whoever you mention will see them.

You see, Twitter isn’t a mysterious box that only a few chosen elites have the key to unlock. It’s a sandbox for you to build anything your imagination can think of. You just need to spend some time figuring out how much water to add to make the sand hold a shape, and whether to use a shovel or a pail when building the walls.

Those elites on Twitter either have a knack for 140 character communications (in which case they’re probably of the generation that grew up with SMS during their recess breaks), or they’ve spent time learning the ropes like you will have to do.

There is no shame in being new to something. Don’t feel bad for tweeting a question that gets no replies at first, or some snarkey “I can’t believe you didn’t know that” comments. Everyone has to go through growing pains before they can master something, and Twitter is no different.

As time goes on, you’ll become more confident with condensing your thoughts (when before you might’ve split a thought into 4 tweets), you’ll figure out how to send tweets on a schedule, and you’ll learn all of this without even realizing you’re learning it. Trust me, no matter how new you feel right now, you’ll get there.

And when you do, remember how being new felt – and use your expert status to help others in their fumbling novice days, too.