Five things to tweet and five things not to tweet

Five things to tweet and five things not to tweet

I recently spoke at a financial advisors’ retreat in the stunning Margaret River region of Western Australia, a region of wide-open beauty that is the source of many extraordinary wines.

I gave two keynote speeches at the event on subsequent days: How to lock in your clients, and Success in a connected world, which drew on my connected world visual framework.

I also spoke about how to approach Twitter.

About 15-20% of the audience had Twitter accounts, so my suggestions were intended as a high-level introduction on how to get started on the social media site, although the advice is relevant to anyone.

The recommendations are based on my own thoughts as well as a range of research, notably the excellent Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value from Carnegie Mellon University. This is what I suggested:

What to tweet

Interesting, current links with useful descriptions

The most valuable tweets usually point to fantastic content, with sufficient description for people to know why they should click on it.

Links to your own content

People like links to content created by the Twitter account owner, which is why they follow them.

Stimulating questions

People find value in interesting and provocative questions, whether or not they respond on Twitter.

Occasional unusual or humorous posts

It is good to break up the flow of a Twitter account with funny or different posts, rather than have it be too consistent.

Responses to others

Twitter is a conversation, so it is important to respond to others, and these can be among the most interesting and informative posts.

What not to tweet

Content-free statements

Don’t say things like hello and goodbye, or other interjections that contain no content and add no value.

Excessive personal updates

Unless your Twitter circle is only close friends, don’t just tweet your day-by-day activities. It is good to share of yourself and the notable things that you experience – just don’t overdo it.

Negative thoughts

If you’re feeling down, it’s usually better to keep it to yourself. People are attracted to positive attitudes rather than negative ones. Of course, if you do want to reach for connection at a time of need, Twitter can be invaluable.

Extended conversations with individuals

Anything much more than a couple of to-and-fro tweets is stultifying to everyone else. Move to direct messages or email.

Old news

Don’t share things that everyone has already seen. If you’ve seen something on the TV news, be sure that everyone on Twitter knew about it a long time ago.

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