When Twitter is counter-productive

Twitter - to use or not to use?There are tons of folks out there who shout from the rooftops that anyone who’s anyone must have a twitter account. They counsel every business, government entity, and individual to get off their tails and start tweeting. Good advice? I think not. Just like anything else, if you’re not going to do it well, it might be best to stay away. Here’s what’s involved in tweeting well:

  • Time. Yours, your staff’s, someone’s. If you don’t have the time to devote to it or the funds to pay someone else to, you don’t have a chance of succeeding in it. Sure, there are books that promise you can do it in 10 minutes a day. But that doesn’t mean you’ll do it well in 1o minutes a day. Tweeting well mean establishing relationships and sharing valuable content – and both of those things require time.
  • Authenticity. Honesty. Integrity. Personality. If you aren’t willing to share yours online, step away from the keyboard. Sure, you could post an endless string of links to someone else’s content. That requires no authenticity or personality. But do you know what image it gives you? That of a person (or business) with no personality. No authenticity. And in the world of ‘life-casting’ and micro-blogging, your followers want to see a human being with character.
  • Value. There’s plenty of ‘noise’ out there already coming from people who think they must have a Twitter account or they’ll just wither up. Do you really want to be just another twitterer creating noise?

A Twitter account used well can establish you as an authority, help you connect with people – staff, clients, colleagues, or constituents, and help you drive traffic to sites with greater content. When used poorly they can establish you as a dolt. So what’s it gonna be? When in doubt, listen (or read), and decide if you’re willing to invest and weigh in.

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