Twitter has partially positioned itself as the social networking, idea and news spreading platform of choice for professionals. Even more so with the recent LinkedIn integration. Creating a separate Twitter account for your work related activities can be a good idea. In my case splitting work from private was an easy choice due to the obvious problems of mixing languages. Having a second account has also taught me something else. I´m beginning to see a pattern in the tweets by people I choose to follow out of professional reasons.
Most often I will look up people whose work I find inspiring in hope of them sharing some of their wisdom. However great work alone or working for a respected agency does not make much of a difference when it comes to clicking the follow button. If the sum of your recent tweets don’t have a certain balance or feel to them it´s just not going to happen. So what makes you interesting to follow? There are a lot of great guides out there on how to and how not to tweet. The emerging pattern I´m looking at consists mostly of my gut feeling which is not necessarily a bad thing after reading Malcolm Gladwell´s Blink and learning about the concept of thin slicing. Keep going for the full breakdown.
So what does this pattern look like?
I made a pie chart to visualize the composition of tweets I´m looking for. A suitable visualization as pies are most often divided into slices. My sincerest apologies for some of the text colors (awful readability).
Great. Now here are a few things your recent tweets should not do:
Hey everybody, look at this thing someone made!
Mostly tweet about something you’ve made or are making, not what others have done. Not unless you have added insights or interesting references to offer.
“RT @fluxd Hey everybody, look at this thing someone made!”
Keep your retweets coming at a reasonable interval. If every other tweet out of your account is interesting but begins with RT, following you will most likely be redundant. I´m not sure yet if the new native retweet function will fix this.
“Hey everybody, I just found this awesome thing called the Internets”
If you happen to discover something good but dated do tweet but don’t rant.
“Hey everybody, cheese sandwich for lunch. It tastes like compacted wood pulp”
Be personal but not too often. A bit of humanity in between those 140 chars of insight and great wisdoms you drop adds depth. Don’t go on about what you are doing minute by minute if it is not of public interest or just because you are bored.
“Hey @JohnDoe, I got that thing for what we are doing later”
Private matter? Don´t make it public.
“@fluxd: What breed is your awesome dog?”
If the question you are answering is not of public interest you might answer it privately to keep the noise level down. Update: This is not an issue any longer as Twitter have changed it. (He is a Lagotto Romagnolo)
Have you got any Twitter criterias? Feel free to share in the comments. Nothing to add? Go check out my tweets and see if I´m living up to my own preachings.