The wonderful Kerry Pinny (Twitter: ) recently published a fantastic blog post entitled ‘I am rubbish at Twitter‘. This is my riposte.
Kerry’s post starts with the slanderous accusation that I describe her as being rubbish at Twitter. This is completely to the contrary, I think Kerry’s twitter use is a perfect blend of sensible work-related stuff, with just enough personality to keep her interesting online. Much the opposite of real-life, where conversations in the office only occasionally turn back to our work! If Kerry’s lies weren’t enough, she goes on to say that I am “good at Twitter because [I] am funny”. We know the truth.
Kerry’s post highlights a number of ways you can be better at Twitter, and what to avoid.
So, why is this post entitled ‘I am awesome at Twitter’? It isn’t because I think I am – anything but. However, it was a parallel to Kerry’s, but it also allows me to discuss what I think is most important about not just Twitter usage, but your whole online persona. There are hundreds of sites that will sell you ‘how to be a social media guru’, but this is about being you and enjoying the benefits social media affords you.
My twitter rules
- Quality over quantity – I don’t normally follow seemingly interesting people if I see they have 50,000 inane tweets between the gems.
- Selectively retweet – share only if you think it is interesting and it might be interesting to others. I use the favourite/like function to save interesting stuff for me to read later
- Concentrate on the positives – although don’t contradict rule #1, flood social media with the good stuff. But…
But most importantly
- let your personality show – if you find something funny then share it. I love wit and puns, so you will see a number of retweets and an alarming lack of my own ‘jokes’
- if you have passions, show them – others may share those passions or you might encourage people to want to find out more
- only say stuff you’d say in ‘real’ life – imagine your mum is in the room, if she would tut, then you’ve crossed the line
What shouldn’t you do?
- Sweat the numbers – don’t worry about how many followers you have! Just post interesting stuff, engage with people, and enjoy it. It isn’t a marketing channel, it is an extension of you.
- Don’t be a narcissist – unless you have a verified tick next to your name, and a team of marketing bods looking after your ‘brand’, then social media is social. It’s a two-way thing. If you want a fan page, then you probably want a blog or a Myspace page!
- Feed the trolls – I’ve been lucky/not interesting enough to not have been trolled, but I have seen lots of trolling online. Remember to be courteous with everyone, don’t get too emotional, and judiciously block those who are offensive (not just because they disagree with you)
- Automated tweets – no-one wants to know a machine is sending thanks out for follows. And no-one cares about how many people followed/unfollowed you this week. This information is for you, not for the world. If you are following rule #4, then any kind of automation is not authentic, unless you are a bot – in which case beware of being turned into a “Hitler-loving sex robot“.
I’m not awesome at Twitter, but I hope I am a little bit interesting at times, and true to my rules.
This is the kind of thing you’ll get:
Little boy just looked at his mum, pointed then shouted "crazy". Best moment of my life.
— Marcus Elliott (@marcuselliott) May 19, 2016
Integrity is not appearing to do the right thing, it is actually doing the right thing.
— Marcus Elliott (@marcuselliott) May 5, 2016
Rule 1: always take too many cables and adapters for all your devices when giving presentations
— Marcus Elliott (@marcuselliott) April 13, 2016