Twitter Tip Tuesday - Become a MentorIt’s Twitter Tip Tuesday — every Tuesday we’ll focus on one Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy. This week we suggest that you can bolster your own Twitter activities, presence, and status by becoming a mentor — and teaching others everything you know about Twitter.

Do you remember the first time you heard of Twitter? The universal reaction upon hearing about Twitter for the first time is often something to the effect of “What?”, or the tried-and-true comeback line, “Oh, that’s where everyone tweets about what they had for lunch, right?”

With any luck (and probably a lot of hard work), you’ve progressed well past the initiation stages of Twitter. Perhaps you’ve become quite adept at using the platform to confidently and successfully engage with your target audience. If you’ve been following Sprout Insights, you’ve probably picked up lots of Twitter tips and tricks along the way, too. To paraphrase an old parable, don’t hide your light under a bird’s nest! Find some people who you think could benefit from Twitter, and offer to mentor them and show them everything you’ve discovered about how to harness the power of the platform.

What’s in It for Them?

What's in it for Them?

In any discipline, the benefits of having a mentor are myriad. The mentee gets to leverage the knowledge of the mentor, benefiting from the work and experience that the latter has accumulated over time. As it pertains to Twitter, specifically, perhaps you (as the mentor) have curated some pertinent Twitter Lists that would benefit someone who’s new to Twitter and unsure about who to follow. Since you’ve already done all the leg work to create the list, your pupil can simply subscribe to your lists instead of having to create one from scratch.

Another common concern from people new to the platform is that they often don’t know what to say (i.e. tweet about). To address this concern, you can tweet or send a link to your entire tweet history to your newbie friend, and offer them the opportunity to retweet anything they find interesting. In that way, you offer not only a model of what type of content one should tweet about, you’re providing the actual content as well!

Of course, one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of any great mentor is “the introduction.” When you introduce someone who’s new to Twitter to your trusted network of friends and followers, this act alone can accelerate your student’s knowledge of Twitter, exponentially. After making an initial introduction, don’t stop there. Help the meeting take root by letting both parties know why you feel their introduction is a good fit, or how you feel the meeting will benefit each of the parties being introduced.

What’s in It for You?

Social Media has the word (and the concept) “social” baked right into it. In other words, it’s a world of give and take, not take and take! There’s a definite satisfaction that comes when you know that you’re doing something that’s in philosophical alignment with the nature of the thing itself. By being social on social media, and giving back some of the knowledge and skills you’ve attained to others, you’ll discover how much social media actually means to you in the first place. And if you happen to feel nothing special about the spirit of giving, may we suggest this clip.

The Grinch allusion notwithstanding, there are some personal benefits to being a Twitter mentor beyond just the satisfaction of knowing you did a good thing. By helping others and providing a tangible service, it becomes much easier to reach out and ask for a favor from those people who you’ve mentored, should the need ever arise. As we’ve quoted many times before from Professional Sales Trainer, Paul Castain, you should always be thinking about building your army before you need it!

Finally, it always helps to consolidate your own knowledge of a subject when you share it, and teach it, to others. If you are unsure about a certain topic, tweak, or Twitter tip, chances are you’ll research it and refresh your memory about it before passing it along to others. As you reiterate and reinforce your knowledge and about Twitter, often by default, you’ll become a recognized thought-leader in your area or industry. People may begin to seek you out for your expertise. Who knows, if you’re so inclined, you may even be able to parlay your advanced Twitter knowledge into a new career, or a better job!

Have any great Twitter Tips that you think would be a good fit for Twitter Tip Tuesday? Then we want to hear from you!

[Image credits: Keri-Lee Beasley, quinn.anya, unawe]