Twitter Etiquette idea #1

All this stuff is new, and we’re still figuring our way around with it, but an idea has gelled in my head that I think makes sense. It’s a small thing, but it feels true.

Let’s say you’re the head of some enterprise, and that you’re a savvy user of social networks. Odds are, you’ll find a way to use that savvy to help your business or nonprofit or group or whatever; that’s great, and it’s a good idea, but there are good and bad ways to do it.

You might, first, start hawking CoolCorp on your personal tweets. Lots of people do. No harm in this, really, except that it sort of assumes that everyone who follows you for your pithy 140-byte commentary also wants to get all CoolCorp material. Who knows? It might be true. But probably not.

A better idea is to establish @CoolCorp as a twitter entity of its own; post your work stuff, your marketing messages — let’s face it: your advertising — there, and keep your personal @account for your personal content.

This seems to be an especially popular model, with good reason; people who want just-you can get just-you, and people who want to also get your advertising can do that, too — but you’re not making assumptions about how interested your Twitter friends are about your business endeavors. Think of it as channels.

Further, not even all your CoolCorp fans want to use the Twitter feed to keep up — if you’ve done it right, that info is also available in newsletters, in blog updates or RSS feeds, or in a variety of other ways.

What’s sort of annoying is if you establish @personal and @CoolCorp, but then consistently ReTweet all or most of the CoolCorp posts into your personal feed, too. People who want that info are going to get it anyway (see above about your newsletter, your blog, your feeds). Persistent retweeting makes the @clubcorp feed pointless — if that info is everywhere anyway, why bother following the account? You’ll just get dupes for all or most of the material.

BTW, you can magnify this problem by having multiple Twitter users in the office, all of whom also retweet the corporate info. Don’t be that guy, for God’s sake. Create a Twitter identity for your firm, and make it valuable enough on its own that people want to follow it. If you’re consistently putting the same info out in multiple accounts, odds are you’re wasting your time.

2 thoughts on “Twitter Etiquette idea #1

  1. I think many people use social networks, however, to “brand” themselves. Twitter is, to me, the ultimate PR machine. And yes, I’m on it, following friends.

  2. I’m not saying don’t do that. I’m saying, in fact, by all means do that. But if you’re a prolific twitter poster for both personal and professional reasons, segment them. Some people may not give a shit about your professional pursuits, of course, but the real point is that people who ARE interested are probably also following your professional feed already, too, so you’re just annoying them with double posts.