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

  1. Quality over quantity – I don’t normally follow seemingly interesting people if I see they have 50,000 inane tweets between the gems.
  2. 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
  3. Concentrate on the positives – although don’t contradict rule #1, flood social media with the good stuff. But…
    • But most importantly

  4. Be authentic – your online presence isn’t a representation of you. It is you!
    • 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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)
  4. 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:

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