With all the endless discussion about how one should and shouldn’t use Twitter, I think it’s important that each person come up with a personal Twitter policy of how they want to use the tool. You don’t have to publish it like I do below, but I think everyone should write it down and look to it every now and then alongside their past tweets and see if they’re actually adhering to the policy they set for themselves. The reason I recommend this is because extremely well known and respected social media gurus don’t seem to have any personal policy whatsoever. Twitter just becomes this avenue for which they blast out every random thought that crosses their mind. I’ve unfortunately had to stop following people I truly respect solely because their Tweets would flood my feed, dominating all other tweets. In one case I stopped following someone because their tweets were 17 of the 20 most recent tweets in my feed.
With that said, here’s my personal Twittering policy. I invite you to share yours as well.
The only times I send out a tweet is if it satisfies one of the following conditions:
- Share – If I find something cool online, I’ll share it, with a link.
- Self promotion – If I just created something (e.g. article, video), I want people to see it.
- Promote others – If a friend is doing something I like, or an event is happening I want others to attend, I’ll happily promote it.
- Be funny – Sometimes I just have something funny to tweet.
- Question – If I’m having a problem that I think my followers could answer.
- Answer a question – If someone has a question for which I know the answer.
Two last personal rules:
- If what I want to tweet doesn’t satisfy any of those conditions, I don’t tweet it. (On very rare occasions I’ve broken this rule.)
- All my tweets must be self contained. Meaning that each tweet can be read and understood on its own, and has value. I don’t write tweets for which you’d have to be following my conversation to know what I’m referencing.
Do you have a personal Twitter policy? Does it achieve some personal or company goal? Does it help you build your brand? Or have you not even thought about it until now? Let me know.