What should U TWEET: Twitter 101 Lesson 4

Filed in Blogging , Facebook , Twitter 31 comments

Yosemite May 2008 mirror lake 4

What’s so cool about Twitter is that there are NO rules: it’s like the “Wild West” where anything goes — as long as you use 140 characters or less.

Q: Why devote an entire post to this subject?

A: The 19th century poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “We are always looking for someone to tell us what to do” . . . and many typical Twitter users [see previous post] “forget” to Tweet.

So here are my thoughts:

1 – Jack Dorsey, Twitter creator, told my class that his mom likes to hear his day-to-day activities whether he’s meeting friends at a restaurant or getting off a plane in Iraq.
2 – Remember there are NO rules.

3 – That being said, you might want to consider WHY you are on Twitter: Do you really want the “world” to know you had a pizza for lunch? [Actually, I’m in NYC right now and called one of my brothers, whom I hadn’t told about my trip. He knew I was in New York because I’d put the word out on Twitter.]

4 – Personally, as someone who teaches public relations — and, thus, reputation management — I like to think about what my “Profile,” i.e. my Twitter Stream, looks like to someone who is deciding whether to follow me or NOT

5 – Therefore, in most cases IĀ  write personal comments using the DM [Direct Message] function — or simply send an email — so that my Tweets are more “thoughtfully” targeted to all my followers.

What makes a Tweet more respectful of your followers? Here are some of my suggestions:

(A) Passing along a cool blog entry or website I’ve come across, e.g., Adam Singer’s “What if?
(B) Retweeting [RT] an informative link that I’ve read from someone I follow on Twitter — see the previous post to find out about Tweetdeck which makes Retweeting so easy.

(C) Answering someone’s question, e.g.,

Quipsandtips asked: I’m in a lull, waiting for mag assignments & book contracts. How do you know when it’s time to revamp goals or change action plan?

I answered: @quipsandtips how do you know when it’s time to make new plans? When you ask that question šŸ™‚

(D) “Reading” a book and sharing a short insight from it, e.g.,

Reading Putting Public Back in PR by Brian Solis & Deidre Breakenridge #PPBinPR : PR 2.0 creating new toolkit 2 reinvent market conversation

(E) Sharing an insight that you got “all on your own” and were dying to tell someone, e.g.,

People are NOT numbers. When businesses fully understand this, their strategies and tools will adjust.

Just remember, there aren’t any rules Unless You Make Your Own, so TWEEPLE – please tell us your rules and share your favorite Tweets. The conversation is what Social Media is all about.

What to Tweet About – Part TWO

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   23 May 2009
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Comments
May 26, 2009
2:47 am

I just LOVE twitter!
thanks for the post!
Barbra
http://intelligentwomenreadromance.wordpress.com/

May 26, 2009
9:18 am
#2 franklinanciano :

Awesome information! I’ll be sure to take this into account the next time I tweet.

-Franklin

Jun 22, 2009
3:29 am
#3 Benjamin Devine :
Jul 3, 2009
3:41 am
#4 Bernadette Tanguilig :

There are 2 things. However, I wouldn’t call them “rules” rather things I go by when I am on Twitter. They are: be myself and follow people I value.

Jul 9, 2009
8:28 am
#5 sharisax :

Here’s Chris Brogan’s latest post on His Rules for Tweeting: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/how-i-tweet-a-faq/

Aug 13, 2009
2:43 am
#6 Tony Hurst :

I’ve figured out (or its at least my opinion) that one of the keys with “What to tweet” has to do with active engagement in receiving.

It sounds simple and I should know this because I preach about it in every other situation and yet I have been VERY unskillful so far in accessing that sensibility in my tweets.

I’m sending sending sending. “Look at this! How about this! Check me out! Here look at this! Isn’t it great?!” And that’s what I see out there from others as well.

You had a couple of posts today that requested thoughtful opinions from people. The queries were on resumes, which I haven’t done in ages so I had nothing of value to submit about the subject but I WANTED to comment. It engaged me. That’s meaningful.

I’m getting there. I need to translate my purposes on Twitter to that meaningful engagement of receiving. -Tony

Feb 3, 2010
10:40 pm
#7 LaMesha :

I dont want someone knowing my every move. There are a lot of crazy people out there and to post your every move can make you a target of crime

Author Feb 4, 2010
1:34 am

LaMesha, the KEY is to be very, very careful about EVERYTHING you post online. People need to understand that anything they put on the Internet whether in email, on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. can possibly be seen by Everyone in the world.

Jun 21, 2010
2:42 pm
#9 Phuong Vo :

The only reason I haven’t ever used Twitter is because I don’t understand why anyone should ever be interested in little bits of random information that don’t really concern them, but this post kind of made me see how it can be useful!

Jun 21, 2010
8:01 pm
#10 #11 Kirill :

Shari, I totally agree with you that we should pay extra attention on what we post online. From my own experience the information we put on Internet stays there for years and sometimes it is impossible to delete it. I wouldn’t post any personal information online unless I 100% sure that it is necessary.

Jun 21, 2010
8:53 pm
#11 Shameim Lowther :

I’m happy that I’m not alone in the thoughts of ‘lamesha’. With twitter it’s too close for comfort to tweet about my every move. I’m aware that I’m in total controll of who sees what with the settings and privacy-yet still it’s not that safe. However it seems fun but I’m so private that I don’t think I want ‘everyone’ who knows me my actions/moves/daily thoughts. it takes away “missing” friends family, and the anticipation of true conversation. I guess there are benifits and i’m open to change so towards the end of my six weeks I’ll either stand my ground or adapt to change:)

Jun 21, 2010
9:24 pm
#12 Mina Chuong :

Twitter is such a convenient way to post a thought or status publicly or directly. It’s like email and facebook in one. Great post!

Jun 21, 2010
9:58 pm
#13 Tawana Patterson :

Shari i must say that all the information that you posted above was helpful , but since I’m new to twitter I’m still on the edge.

Sometimes you only want certain people to know things. but on twitter anyone can follow you and know your personal business. In a way it sort of seems dangerous because there are a lot of crazy and insane people out there.

Jun 22, 2010
10:03 am

So what’s the benefit of twitter over the traditional internet messageboard? You can also ask questions and share your insights with others on a messageboard, albeit with more privacy. Your posts can usually be viewed by anyone, and you are more likely to get a response to your comments as messageboards tend to address specific topics. I’m all for new trends and technology, but for the twitter suggestions mentioned in your post, I think I’ll stick with the old fashioned internet messageboard

Author Jun 22, 2010
10:28 am
#15 Shari Weiss :

Eric, I have found that it is best to reserve judgments until you have given something a chance . . . especially if you are trying something recommended by a person you trust.
šŸ™‚
I suspect more value will be proven to you as the semester progresses. Our minds can only take in so much at any one time.
šŸ™‚

Jun 23, 2010
11:45 am
#16 Chance :

When I read this I connected with the whole pizza part IMMEDIATELY! That was my first thought when you told the class to sign up for twitter.

Jan 27, 2011
1:39 am
#17 Amanthis Miller :

I’m definitely gonna be one of those people that needs someone to tell me what to tweet – it just feels like shouting in a noisy crowd to me! So thanks for the tips!

Author Jan 27, 2011
2:41 am
#18 Shari Weiss :

My suspicion, Amanthis, is that when you get some more experience with Twitter AND this class and our community, you won’t have much of a problem speaking calmly on this platform.

Jan 27, 2011
11:56 pm
#19 Wil Yi Donoy :

I created my Twitter account actually quite a while ago and haven’t done a thing with it (aside from put up a profile pic). I am not new the social network scene, in fact I’ve used many of the older ones when they were new (ie Xanga, LiveJournal, MySpace) the problem I have with Twitter is that it’s ONLY 140 characters. Sometimes that’s just not enough, but I think it’s not about posting your “life’s story” and more about linking to a place where you can like a blog or other website or just sharing a quick thought. But really, we have Facebook if we need to let someone know what we’re eating and where we are, especially with the “Check-In” feature.

Author Jan 28, 2011
12:05 am
#20 Shari Weiss :

Wil, can you see the tremendous value of ONLY having 140 characters?
šŸ™‚

Jan 28, 2011
3:59 am
#21 Amanda Rodriguez :

I am a new user to Twitter and it nice to read a guideline and examples of what you can or should twit about. Personally, I am not one to share what I am doing but I do like to express my opinions or share favorite quotes.

Author Jan 28, 2011
2:20 pm
#22 Shari Weiss :

Yes, Twitter really is NOT just about answering the question: “What are you doing?”

Feb 3, 2011
11:15 pm
#23 Vanessa Jensen :

@ Amanda _ I know exactly what you mean…I don’t think everyone needs to know what I had for dinner or what I have planned after breakfast, but it is nice to pass on good information and when doing that the url shortener is a help šŸ™‚ http://bit.ly/

Author Feb 3, 2011
11:36 pm
#24 Shari Weiss :

Venessa, I’ll be including bit.ly in the vocabulary list for my next post.

Feb 4, 2011
5:22 am
#25 Champa Mulchandani :

@Eric: I think one of the benefits of Twitter versus any other social media site is that firstly, the limitation of what you can say! On Facebook and the likes, people can go on and on. Via Twitter, it’s 140 character flat; no more no less. Also the privacy factor is fabulous with Twitter. It isn’t intrusive in the sense that there is no space for random information that you would post normally on mediums including Facebook. Twitter is safer because the anonymity factor is incredible!

Author Feb 4, 2011
2:29 pm
#26 Shari Weiss :

@Champa, while I agree that Twitter is Great because of the necessity of brevity, I do not agree that anyone can maintain anonymity online. My experience has proven otherwise; someone sent me anonymous postings awhile back, and “experienced” friends were able to find this person in less than five minutes.

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