As long as people stay hooked to social media, it will continue to blur the line between a personal life and a professional life. And Twitter is an epitome of this thin contrast. It is a virtual public platform not only to connect with friends, but also to cultivate digital presence and refine online brand.
Even adept social media users find it challenging to create a balance between their personal and professional lives when using Twitter. So you must consider the possibility that a personal view will have an adverse effect to your work. But it doesn’t imply you have to post dull business lines, as if deliberately trying to bore your readers with gibberish from a robot. You’re a person talking to another person – that’s the bedrock of social media.
Here are 7 simple rules you may follow to keep a more exciting, more social, more balanced Twitter account:
1. Don’t relinquish control to the robot.
Robotic Twitter accounts are corporate, industrial slaves. Since Twitter is public, professionals tend to hide from being open, too scared to share topics or expose opinions outside of work. But if you only talk business concerns, you keep expanding the gap between you and your followers. When you don’t show your human side, they will lose interest in your posts. A person will do business only with another person – not a robot – so be more conscious, more sensitive of your followers.
Haven’t you ever wondered why, when you attend a conference, speakers that use an active human voice for their personal views have the most powerful speeches? They deliberately avoid the jargons of their industry. Instead, they parse technical words and phrases to provide better analogies, using daily experiences that people can relate to. The same strategy works for social media, including Twitter.
2. Accept Twitter’s open environment.
Yes, Twitter is open for all. Accept it. Tolerate it. Then find the personal and professional balance that treats it as a public social network. But this will not happen overnight or even a fortnight.
Twitter is analogous to a coalition between a business seminar and a networking conference. But here everything you do is open to the public – the whole world for that matter – if you have unprotected tweets, not only to those who registered or came to the event. Everything you publish on Twitter is stored and adds to the long list of your digital footprint. So always act as if a potential client, partner, or employer will see all your tweets, retweets, or mentions.
3. Discern personal from private.
You likely winced when you came across posts on social media with superfluous details, inviting ridicule for its pomposity. Avoid falling into the same trap by separating the personal from the private. Tweet about the insightful business meeting you recently had – this is personal. Don’t rehash and tweet about the arguments you had with a stockholder during the session – this is private.
4. Shun sensitive issues.
As a guideline, some topics mustn’t be hashed out on your Twitter account. Never gripe about the actions of your employer or a customer. Shun talks about religion or politics unless it’s related to work or you don’t care to disaffect some members of your community. Also, eschew discussions about any illicit activity.
If it’s inevitable to discuss sensitive issues for your franchise, you must mix business resources with religious or political views. But you must be prepared of aliening some followers for voicing your personal opinions.
5. Connect and engage with other people.
Personal interaction is a natural way to highlight your charisma. Social networking is a two-way channel; never use any social networking site such as Twitter as a one-way channel to promulgate information. You can jump into conversations with people who share your interests and add an informal tone or a witty remark into your answers. But remember that, though a raillery between friends is tolerable, you must take stringent, in-depth conversations to DMs or private phone calls before turning the banter into a tedious josh.
6. Show your diverse interests.
Anyone can attest how boring it is to listen to one person’s latest escapade for more than an hour, especially over dinner. The same thing works for Twitter. Though it’s forgivable to share a smattering of messages about a trip to the Amazon River or Mt. Everest, it will get boring if it’s the second time you shared the same story. So stop sharing the same things repeatedly; your followers probably memorized all of it now. Don’t pull them back to the past. Move forward with new things to talk about in your tweets – such as your diverse interests. Join related discussions to show your staunch support for the Los Angeles Lakers despite Kobe Bryant’s latest injury. Or consider creating other social media accounts to post updates about your other fields of interest. But don’t forget to merge it with your Twitter account.
7. Never treat tweets with over-analysis.
Finally, and as mentioned earlier, Twitter is social. It is about discussions, common interests, and building relationships. It’s that simple – don’t overanalyze it.
These rules of thumb don’t suggest that you must strictly follow a certain ratio between personal posts and professional posts. And if you do put figures into it, you’ll turn into a bore. These are some basic guidelines, not The Definitive Book About Twitter Conduct. So be vulnerable. Be natural. Be yourself. As long as you remain a reasonable self, you’ll be fine. Make sure to tweet @DendritePark with your thoughts!