Dr. Jason Whitman is a busy man. When he’s not practicng eye care as an optometrist in Cody, Wyoming, he chairs the Young Republican National Federation’s Policy Committee and the Wyoming Young Republicans. He also writes for Big Government.
Like many other twitter users, it took him a while to fully appreciate the power of twitter. First signing up near the end of 2009, Whitman says he would tweet about his dinner, or the dog.
“Oddly, I did not seem to be gaining any new followers,” he said.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2010 when Whitman changed his strategy while attending the Southern Leadership Conference.
“Turns out there was a lot of political junkies on this Twitter thing and it seemed like a good way to talk to each other.”
This is a far cry from the more than 8400 followers and 40,000 tweets he has today. Whitman still spends a vast amount of his time tweeting about interesting every day topics, but he also writes snarky tweets making fun of Paulbots and the Obama administration, which has contributed to his popularity on twitter
To be successful on twitter, Whitman recommends balancing your tweets based on the demographics of your audience.
“It depends a lot on your followers. Some of them are unhappy with personal tweeting, which in my case is usually some amalgamation of misadventures or mockery, and think I tweet too much. They usually end up unfollowing me,” he said. “Other tweeps think I should be tweeting about politics during the Super Bowl. I try for a 75% work, 25% personal ratio.”
Having a unique voice is also important, and for Whitman that voice is snarky, which is what he looks for in the new users to follow as well.
“The most entertaining thing about Twitter is watching the volume of snark on a daily basis,” he says, “The creativity of some people is just remarkable.”
Beyond comic relief, Whitman likes that twitter has become an aggregate for news.
“Twitter is like the king of RSS feeds. I find I can skip opening up a single news site and still be fully informed by lunchtime.” If he wasn’t already addicted to watching the news, he says he’d “never turn on the television!”
Whitman’s advice to green users? Be mindful of what you say about yourself in your twitter bio. For a while Whitman had “single” in his, but took it down.
“Twitter is a lousy dating service.”
Good to know.