Last Updated Apr 17, 2009 11:41 AM EDT
1. Tweet about more than yourself and your company
Twitter is designed to be an interactive tool between you and the people who follow your posts. Though each Tweet technically answers the question "What are you doing?", posting solely about what you're up to at work or at home isn't necessarily the best way to start a conversation. Of McAfee's 100 Tweets, he drew the most response from posts that didn't answer this question but had a wide appeal: "Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching" and "Twenty Great Poems Available Online." Which brings me to the next point.
2. People like lists
Offering your own rankings of items is a surefire way to get people involved, whether they comment on your choices or contribute their own response lists. In McAfee's case, he picked up extra traffic when other people starting Tweeting about his lists, alerting their own followers to go to McAfee's page.
3. Engage in multi-platform promotion
Use Twitter in conjunction with other media tools. McAfee successfully made his day of 100 Tweets into an event by blogging about it beforehand, stoking readers' curiosity and encouraging them to follow him to see the results. (He also kindly gave readers fair warning to stop following him for the day if they didn't want to be inundated with Tweets.)
4. Be prepared for a few snarky comments
If you're willing to put yourself out there on an interactive platform, your efforts will draw their share of criticism. After McAfee blogged about his 100 Tweets, one reader left this comment: "I thought it was a grotesquely self-indulgent exercise. The lists were a cop-out and obviously prepared well in advance." While you can't please all the people all the time, even negative feedback has its perks: it keeps the conversation going and shows that you're striking a chord with people, which sometimes is all we can ask for in a world of so many competing Tweets.