It is always something of a challenge to write a blog post on what you should tweet about and what constitutes a great Twitter post. The old saying, one man’s meat is another man’s poison was never more apt. This particular topic brings to mind the 4 words on the cover of David Ogilvy’s iconic book, Ogilvy on Advertising – “there are no rules.” What one person may deem an offensive message on Twitter, another may find humorous or thought-provoking.
However, if you are tweeting in a bid to promote your business (albeit in a subtle manner given that trumpeting your business achievements and nothing else will most likely alienate your followers) there are some golden guidelines to observe when it comes to the content of your twitter messages. If you are unsure on what you should be tweeting about, imagine as you compose each message that over one shoulder your most valuable client is reading it; over your other a hot prospect. What will they make of your tweets? Are they likely to be shaking their heads in astonishment or dismay or doing so unbridled admiration at your erudite and concise gems?
Here are some guidelines you may want to consider if you are new to tweeting or simply reviewing your progress on Twitter thus far.
- You are undeniably fascinating to you (and your mum and dad!) but to your followers on Twitter, feeding them with a bland daily diet of your every movement including what you ate for breakfast, where you are at that precise moment in time and what the weather is like in your particular neck of the woods is unlikely to inspire them to follow your tweets when they pop up in their timeline. Okay, if you are in the middle of a hurricane, you’re describing your outfit whilst sitting in a pew at Will and Kate’s wedding, or you are being fed at Gordon Ramsay’s table at Claridges, your followers will thank you for giving them a glimpse into your extraordinary life. But most of the time, limit the tweets on your everyday goings-on so that they don’t assume centre stage.
- Always check your tweets before pressing the send button. One of the dangers and the benefits of social networking is that you can broadcast a message within seconds because the power to do so is at your fingertips. And, this message can potentially be seen by thousands of people. I have seen countless examples of appalling tweets including: racist jokes, four letter words, sloppy punctuation, poor spelling, angry tirades and sentimental nonsense. What you have to think when composing tweets is that you are representing your business and building your brand online. As a professional person you should compose tweets that are not only interesting and relevant but that are also grammatically correct and devoid of humour that could lead you to accusations that could damage your reputation.
- What should you tweet about? Aim for the good old 80/20 rule. For every eight tweets where you share interesting insights, top tips and include links to your blog or website can you add a couple of tweets about what is going on in your life that shows the human side of you? Be prudent in what you choose to reveal. Sharing that you are experiencing bad debt or that you are struggling to get business may be the truth but is it a good idea to broadcast this? Revealing the name of that new client can backfire spectacularly. Firstly they may not thank you for making a public announcement and you could be opening your client up to any number of overtures from competitors following your tweets albiet in the shadows. There are lots of things that you can tweet about including sharing tips that your followers are likely to find interesting and helpful and of course responding to some of the tweets that you receive from followers. Once you start to join in with the conversations on Twitter, you start to build relationships that in some cases will spill over into the real world. You can be savvy with your tweets too! Let’s say you are looking to gain more public speaking engagements to promote your business then sharing top tips on public speaking and giving your followers updates on your forthcoming public speaking engagements is one sure way of demonstrating your expertise. You can also promote any special offers especially if they are only available to your twitter followers.