How I use Twitter

Chances are if you’ve landed on this page, you’re either researching me, or you just found my Twitter page and followed the link.  I’m often asked about why I use Twitter, who I follow, what value I get out of it and even what I tweet about.  In parallel with a governing principle of Social Media (transparency) – here’s a few things you can expect:

  1. I tweet about stuff that interests me. Professionally, that’s recruitment, social media, entrepreneurship and new technology. Personally, it’s family, travel, music and gadgetry. At a guess, I reckon my tweets are around 85% professional.
  2. I like the engagement. You follow me, you’ll just see the tweets above. You take a detailed look at my Twitter stream, you’ll see I use it as a platform for communication – with clients, business partners, suppliers, industry peers, etc.
  3. If you follow me, I’ll check you out. Maybe not immediately, but within a couple of days.  If I like what I see, I’ll follow you back. Stuff I like: a photo, a biography that tells me something useful, a URL that isn’t simply your corporate homepage. I like to see engagement and discussion on a Twitter stream, not just a bunch of links and retweets. I do follow a couple of accounts like that, but I’m very selective and I do so because the content is of high value to me. As an example – I curate @SocRecFeed – a Twitter account which aggregates Social Recruiting blogs and makes it easier for me to get the news I want. I don’t expect anyone else to follow it (though some do!).
  4. I don’t like auto DM’s. I’ll DM new followers from time to time, but only when I’ve something specific to say. The same message doesn’t apply to every new follower though and if I get that approach from you, I’m likely to unfollow again pretty quick.
  5. Twitter’s a platform for sharing. If I see someone ask a question and I think I can help, I’ll comment.  If you see me ask a question, feel free to jump straight in there. Your advice might or might not answer my question, but I’ll appreciate the activity anyway and I’ll always try to reciprocate.
  6. [Update Jan 2011] I don’t thank people for retweets unless there’s a truly exceptional reason. My thanking a load of people just clogs up the twitterstream and doesn’t add any real value – which is a change in thinking for me. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate retweets and mentions, it just means I’m trying to be more considerate. I reasoned it out in more detail here.
  7. [Update Jan 2011] If I have to validate my human condition when I follow you through some kind of automated tool, I’m not going to follow you.  Details here.
  8. [Update Feb 2012] Over use of hashtags for occasional humorous value is fine, but if it’s constant, I find it visually annoying. I’m therefore not going to follow you for long.
  9. [Update Feb 2012] You know when YOU GET AN EMAIL ALL IN CAPS? YOU FEEL SHOUTED AT? Same here. Just chill, yeh? Unless you’re Fake Grimlock. In which case, carry on. Love that guy.
  10. [Update June 2013] I attend a lot of events – mostly recruitment or tech, occasionally something more abstract. If the content and WiFi is good, I tend to tweet heavily. It seems to help the core lessons of the day sink in, but moreover it allows me to listen to who’s speaking and validate those points with the outside world. If it’s not a topic you’re interested in, feel free to mute me or unfollow – I’m unlikely to take offence!

I’ll try and keep updating – don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions!

on October 8 | by

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