Okay, you can tweet what you had for dinner if you are a chef or a cooking school instructor or a food critic or anything that would lead you to believe that people actually care what you ate.
But if you do not fall into the above categories, spare us the details of what you had for dinner unless you are praising something you just ate at a restaurant (and include the restaurant name and city/country location). In most cases tweeting that you made macaroni and cheese for dinner is not of interest on Twitter.
What should you tweet?
You should tweet information and links from yourself and others that fits what I call “the spine of your story.” For example, if you are a psychologist specializing in childhood issues, then share information about those issues. Or if you are a fashion designer, share fashion tips and trends.
But before you share information, make sure that your Twitter profile is optimized. By optimized I mean preferably having a photo of yourself rather than a company logo and taking advantage of the 160-character bio and the hot link.
I am constantly amazed at people who say in their bio that they are a consultant or a coach but there is no link to their website or blog or LinkedIn profile or Facebook (business) Page. Really? They want clients or customers?
Now don’t get me wrong. Twitter is about sharing information and creating relationships. It is NOT about selling. But, for example, it is very annoying to read that someone is a coach, want to check out more info about him or her, and have no easy access to finding out this info.
Tip: You don’t need a blog or a Facebook Page to post longer updates to which you link to from Twitter. You can simply use twitwall.com to write longer updates. The headline you write for the longer update becomes the actual tweet with an automatic link to the twitwall post.
Now Twitter has been adding features (just like Facebook and LinkedIn have) and sometimes the new features can be somewhat confusing. I particularly find it annoying to have to check both my @Mentions folder and my Retweets folder on my Twitter home page to find out who has retweeted me. (This is true if you are using Twitter’s own site rather than a third-party application to check your Twitter account.)
For me this retweet information is important because, where appropriate, I like to acknowledge the retweets. So why must I check two places instead of just one?
And when clients ask me if they can check Twitter once a week, I tell them not to bother starting on Twitter if they can’t commit to spending 30 minutes (broken up into three 10-minute sessions) at least five days a week. Twitter is an ongoing conversation – and no one wants to wait a whole week for an answer or to see what you’re sharing now.
If you can’t commit to Twitter, then stick to Facebook and LinkedIn. But if you can commit to Twitter, you can selectively send your tweets through to your Facebook account and your LinkedIn account. And I like this “selective tweets” option (http://www.facebook.com/selectivetwitter) because not all tweets deserve to be shared as Facebook or LinkedIn updates.
For the immediacy of participating on social media in real time, there’s nothing I know of that beats Twitter. But participating on Twitter can become addictive. You’ve been warned!
To get a free report that takes you step-by-step through setting up an effective Twitter profile, see www.MillerMosaicPowerof3.com.
About the guest author:
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic. The company blog is at www.MillerMosaicSocialMediaMarketing.com.
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