Last week we told you why you should be on Twitter and, in addition to reading our blog, we're sure you have discovered a few interesting (and salacious) Twitter events. In the last week, Anthony Weiner exposed his po
litical prowess on Twitter to get his name out there and then some. The puns and innuendos continue to be tweeted as we speak. Shaquille O'Neal used Twitter to announce his retirement and Twitter averaged 2,200 Tweets per second. Hopefully you now have a Twitter account and are seeing these and thousands of other breaking news Tweets as they happen, rather than reading about them the next day in the paper. While your own common sense should prevail in not sending lewd pictures of yourself to young girls, we thought you should know the following five things about Twitter:
1. Do not Tweet information that will later put yourself in the defensible position of explaining: "I don't know what I was thinking" and "I made terrible mistakes." Remember that you are publishing Tweets that can be searchable by Google and other search engines. So, refrain from Tweeting if you have had a few too many drinks or feel compelled to Tweet pictures you would not hang up on your office wall. However, with Twitter, it is important to Tweet because people are following you on Twitter because they find something interesting about you, your organization or your messaging. It is necessary with Twitter to use your inner "would I care if my mother read this" filter.
2. Define your brand. Social media is, by far, the easiest, quickest, most efficient and least expensive method to market yourself. It is also a low-risk bet that Twitter, like blogging, LinkedIn and Facebook, will continue to be a first choice access point for information. And the manner you may want to market yourself is endless: as an in touch CEO, an expert in your field, a salesman of the very best product or service, or a job seeker. The information you choose to tweet or retweet will build credibility and strengthen your brand. Mashable.com is a good resource, among many other websites.
3. Don't be boring. Tweet relevant and interesting posts. Woefully copying and pasting industry-related news releases may be excessive and boring. A suggestion: Tweet the link and write a 140 character or less tweet that would compel someone who reads your Tweet to click on the link. Do not retweet everything that comes up in your feed. Always remember that your followers are (or ought to be) following you because they consider you to be interesting and the information you share compelling.
4. Be disciplined and consistent. It is important to develop a Twitter cadence. Decide if you are going to post daily, weekly or monthly and stick to it.
5. Be yourself. Think of Twitter as you do of yourself in professional and casual settings. In addition to defining your brand, it is important to recognize that people want to see that you are human. Maybe it is tweeting to promote a cause important to you, or recognize the accomplishment of a friend, or acknowledge friends and family who serve in the military. Twitter is a forum that is as much about defining you, your wit and sense and humor, as it is your brand.