Twitter's Pleasant Shocks and Sweet Surprises

The Story of 6 Years on Twitter

It was November 2010. I had been reading a lot about Twitter 
(in Indian newspapers) especially what celebrities were tweeting. Twitter had captured my attention and I decided to “Join the conversation” as Twitter calls it. “Wouldn’t it be a great idea to learn from the most successful people in India and abroad and that too straight from the horse’s mouth?” I wondered.

Learning from the best

I was right. From the best journalists to the most influential authors, speakers and coaches across the globe, almost everyone is active on Twitter.

Twitter turned out to be the platform of the smart people. It was neither the kiddish Facebook nor the ultra formal LinkedIn. It was semi-formal, concise and was like an ocean in terms of the mystery and learning. I had always been blessed with a mentor at the workplace and I had realised that the fastest way to grow professionally is to learn from the best brains in the industry. As I evolved from social media to personal branding to digital storytelling, there were experts tweeting on all these subjects. It was certainly a dream come true.

Connecting with the best

You can follow anyone on Twitter and you don't have to wait for people to accept your connection request.

Some of my posts like “7 personal branding lessons you learn by falling in love” on Mark’s blog were appreciated and shared by global leaders on Twitter. For me it was a validation that I was on the right track. (To tell you the secret, I felt on top of the world)

Interacting with the best

As you share knowledge and build relationships through conversations, many of the global leaders begin to follow you and sometimes converse. This definitely gives you a kick besides the learning.

Most of the global leaders actually walk the talk when it comes to engagement. They reply to your Tweets, thank you for the RTs and so on. I fell in love with Twitter and became more than a Tweep- a Twitter addict. It is good to initiate the conversations with the global leaders and other influencers by sharing their posts with appreciation, constructive criticism and feedback. I have tried my best to share not just most popular content but also good blog posts of not so popular people-the dark horses.

Pleasant Shocks and Sweet Surprises

My six year journey on Twitter has been full of pleasant shocks and sweet surprises. The first pleasant shock came within one year, when I found that according to Pinstorm I was more influential than the Indian PM (Dr Manmohan Singh) as PMO joined Twitter later than me. (This euphoria did not last long)

Another interesting experience was when I attended the NASSCOM Martech conference at Mumbai last year. I connected with more than 50 people (the best brains in the Martech industry including speakers and delegates) within one day by live tweeting at the event. Picking up the best quotes from speaker’s speeches and tweeting them live with the event hashtag made me the most retweeted person in the conference.

The Mysterious Ocean

Twitter applications are a Universe in themselves. The first application I used was TweetDeck and it was a WOW. Some other applications which I have used and loved include Riffle, Buffer,, and Klear. Social rank is my latest love.

What makes Twitter a never ending mystery is thousands of applications to analyse your followers, most popular tweets, average retweets etc and strategise accordingly. LinkedIn and Facebook look like rivers in front of the might ocean of Twitter.

Coaching Executives on Twitter

Getting coaching clients for Twitter forced me to take a deeper dive. Teaching is co-learning in some ways and forces deeper learning in other ways. Many MBA institutes across India also invited me to conduct workshops for MBA students on Twitter.

All data and no story make Jack a dull boy

Storytelling is edutainment and Twitter is more apt for the format as it gives you space to play and to post humour, pictures and so on. There is too much data in the business world and all data and no story makes Jack a dull boy.

I certainly did not want to be a dull boy.

And I have tweeted happily thereafter

There is a popular saying, "Your story is your brand". People stories have always excited me and Twitter is the most powerful tool for personal branding on social media. In fact Twitter trends (hashtags) have also become powerful tools for organisation branding and CRM through live conversations.

Twitter teaches you to be concise and stay in your limits (I mean 140 characters), valued skills in today's corporate world. And even if you care two hoots for business, Tweeps usually turn out to be the most interesting people. Today after food, clothing and shelter, Twitter has become my fourth basic need.

Shhh in a country of 1.27 billion people, where people often face an identity crisis Twitter is the only place where I rank among the Top 500 Indians. I wonder if Twitter has given me a sense of identity in the maddening crowds ?

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Brief Profile

Dr Amit Nagpal, PhD is a Business Storyteller, Speaker and Digital Storytelling Coach. He is one of the pioneers of digital storytelling in India. After working for more than two decades in academics, and corporates (including publishing, television and digital marketing), he realised teaching is meditation and storytelling is his Nirvana.

He is also Chief Inspirational Storyteller at AL Services. AL Services has co-created stories of some of the most inspiring people in India and abroad. He tweets at @DrAmitInspires.


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