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To Tweet or Not to Tweet… 2 August 2009

Posted by The Inimitable M in One-offs.
Tags: , , , ,

Microblogging is becoming the fastest growing blogging medium today.  Probably the most popular is Twitter.  Unfortunately, it seems to be used by the Average Joe/Jane to write things like, “I just had lunch, now I am going to take a nap.”  I’ve heard plenty of complaints about it on radio shows like Kim Commando and Armstrong and Getty, and even from business and social networking people across the globe.

People use it as a form of keeping in touch with their friends and family, but honestly, I don’t think even one’s friends and family care that you just had lunch and are now taking a nap…unless, of course, lunch was particularly interesting and you tell them what you had, or you are taking a nap on an exotic beach somewhere and you tell them where it is and what it is like.

Effective use of microblogging, as outlined in the February 2009 issue of Tactics, one of the anchor newsletters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) gives us a few microblogging mistakes suggested by blogging veteran Gloson Teh:

1.  Pride and putting yourself first.
2.  Not connecting with people.
3.  Auto responding
4.  Bringing no value to your followers.

I will confess I’ve been guilty many times of not connecting with people and most likely bringing no value to my followers.  Many of the people who follow me, including my friends, are guilty of any one or all of the above, too.  For instance, one of my new followers mentioned he was getting dressed to go to a play.  I didn’t care about that.  I wanted to know what play he was going to see and what it was about.  Did he mention that?  Not at all.

How do we correct this?  PRSA has some tips, and I’ve interjected my own two cents’ worth along with them:

1.  Use tinyURL.com to shorten lengthy links.
(I would use these to guide people to Canonbridge’s book release pages.)
2.  Abbreviate when possible.
(This really goes against everything I was taught by good old Strunk & White, but abbreviations work!)
3.  Read other feeds to get a feel for the conversation.
(In other words, don’t just throw stuff out there.  Pay attention to who is out there first!)
4.  Use keywords for search engine optimisation.
(Yep, search engines will find you!  You could become famous!)
5.  Know your audience.
(Are they friends who want to know what’s really going on in your life, or possible clients who might be interested in your work, or do NPR and The New York Times want to pick your brain for a story?)
6.  Provide others with useful information.
(You just planted something in your garden and it was tricky!  How about quickly sharing why it was tricky?)
7.  Join the conversation.
(This goes back to the No. 1 mistake.  Don’t just be out there.  Be a part of what’s out there!)
8.  Build a community.
(We all should be building communities, just like many of us do on Site595!)
9.  Don’t clutter newsfeeds with your tweets.
(I really don’t think the local news cares if any one of us is headed to the bathroom right this minute…)
10.  Be relevant and add value.
(None of us live in an ivory tower, and even if we did, no one really wants to hear about it.)

Be a valued member of your microblogging community.  Get involved with the people you follow and who follow you.  Take an interest and be interesting!  See you on Twitter, and come and visit me at theinimitablem.com!

(Maggie’s Twitter ID is msgrant.  Her personal website is theinimitablem.com, and for a very good reason!)



1. H. - 2 August 2009

I admit that my tweets are random, silly, and boring. Tips are appreciated! 🙂

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