Personal Branding, Part II: Twitterpated

The world is twitterpated about twitter. (For those of you who don’t get the reference, y’all need Jesus. And Bambi.) But at the same time, twitter can get you on the fast-track to being very, very annoying. Here are some quick do’s and don’ts that can help you differentiate yourself on the fastest-growing social network without being a huge pain. You’re welcome.

DO: make your tweets meaningful. That’s tricky to do with only 140 characters, but it makes you even more memorable in the clamor of voices. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but the best is to simply tweet about what matters to you, since that’s what you’re most passionate about. Love sports? Tweet about it, and like-minded fans will follow you. Same goes for politics, baking, struggling college kids, moms, and just about every niche that has a hold in the digital space—just go to town and talk about what you love.

DON’T: tweet too much about mundane tasks. We get it: twitter is your chance to tell the world about what just happened to you or how you’re feeling when it doesn’t warrant a facebook status. But if you’re consistently posting content that never gets any interaction from others (a favorite, a retweet, or a mention), then you’re probably better off saving those precious little nuggets for your diary. I know I’ve said that in a previous post, but I’m serious. Once you annoy followers it’s very hard to win back an unfollower. Use your tweets wisely. At the same time, however…

DO: stay current. Twitter is all about real-time, constant updates. It’s live! Of course you don’t want to be flooding your audience and overwhelming their twitter feeds, but you do want to maintain your voice and stay relevant amidst the constant din. At least 5 tweets a day is a solid number, especially if you can space them out a bit to reach different groups of people.

DON’T: say “twitterverse” or “twittersphere.” Please. Just don’t. You will sound desperate and people will hate you. In fact, while we’re on the topic of what never to mention, please don’t angrily reference someone indirectly through your tweets (infamously called “subtweeting”), talk about the weather, complain repeatedly about something, or post a bunch of self-important tweets. No one will like you and you’ll basically die alone. Or without many twitter followers, anyway.

DO: be pithy and funny. People will be way more inclined to follow you (or at least remember you) if you keep this is mind. There’s nothing wrong with serious tweeting—many do it successfully—but since twitter is such a short, sweet, and limited social media platform, sometimes it’s better to save heavier or lengthier posts for a different outlet (like a blog or facebook post). Try being a little bit sassier, a little bit more opinionated, and take yourself a little bit less seriously. Chances are people will appreciate the humor and the honesty afforded by such a fast-updated medium and you’ll have made yourself stand out more.

DON’T: take any of this too seriously. In the end, your twitter account is yours to do whatever the hell heck you’d like with. These tips, garnered from personal experience from yours truly, will only be helpful if you’re concerned about differentiating yourself with twitter. Sometimes you really just want a personal platform to talk about the most mundane things and if so, then that’s totally fine. In that case, just avoid saying anything really regrettable, angry, or all-around stupid, since other people do notice it and all. Thanks.



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