At Webstock this year Twitter was a memorable feature. Its popularity had really stepped up a gear from the first Webstock. However while most people at the conference were aware of Twitter this year, few had spent much time tweeting. The semi voyeuristic element made most of us reluctant to really start investing time or attention to it.
But like all things web 2.0, Twitter’s gradual rollout is really starting to gain momentum in my little bubble of bloggers and colleagues and I’m really starting to enjoy it.
I’m now getting useful tips and witty comments from a wide range of people – some of whom I only know by reputation – but who appear happy enough to share their lives with me. Or are they?
For some people there seems to be mixed strands of comments which makes me wonder what they’re trying to achieve with their tweets. Some folks are straight up promoting links to their blogs or websites. Others are just waffling. Now I’m ok with either angle but when you mix these up and get professional tweets interlaced with personal comments it seems a bit odd.
In more established social media environments I like the way LinkedIn has a clear professional demarcation vs Facebook which is largely mates sharing whatever.
Twitter still has to carve that balance. But if you’re thinking about using Twitter, here are some points to consider.
What are you trying to achieve? Are you posting tweets to build exposure of your brand or drive visits to your website/blog or simply chatting with your friends? It’s vital to get this worked out up front as it will help you determine your tweet content and other elements that make up your Twitter brand.
What’s your image? A shot of you? A caricature or a silly photo? A tiny logo? What you choose will matter when your face appears alongside dozens of others and people are looking for new tweetlines to follow.
What’s your handle? Your real name or your company brand or a mix? It is possible to mix this up with alt tags providing your personal name while your handle/nickname remains something else.
Who do you follow and who follows you? Again, your brand by association is a small but influential element.
Of course you can wing it if you like, but having thought about these points in advance won’t hurt.