One of the fastest growing social media phenomenons is fast becoming a cesspool of whorish behavior.
Over-sharing abounds on Twitter, a micro-blogging site that allows users 140 characters to say something, share a link to articles and photos, and network with other social media fans across the globe.
Most folks use Twitter to post links to their professional blogs or other sites using TwitterFeed. Some mix and mingle business and personal POVs – especially during the hotly-contested November presidential election.
The Good: I've met other readers, authors, marketing and PR consultants, networked my marketing blog, AskAngelaWilson.com, arranged virtual book tours for Pop Syndicate, and found consultants to interview for guest blogs and other columns. I also networked client blogs and picked up links to informative articles and other blogs I now subscribe to. I met some with opposing political views who were willing to share their thoughts, and use Twitter as a platform to discuss important issues. I learned great ways to use Twitter to find followers – and buyers for business from @Hoorray_Tweets, which did a contest to get followers.
The Bad: I posted a link to a conservative publication article on the Democrats before the election. With just 140 characters, I had to squeeze in a quick title, then the link as a TinyURL. A Tweeter who is liberal bashed me for it, calling me "simplistic." Other authors have told me they were harassed and called names for sharing a conservative POV, or criticizing a politician others likes. Others enjoy sharing stories about their vibrators, or telling off-color jokes, and others still share inappropriate photographs for their business-related Twitter accounts.
One woman who shared her longing for her sex toy even added a link to a professional conference she was attending – a terrible blend of personal and work.
Here is an excellent example of a joke gone bad I received on Dec. 3 from BK, a marketing executive:
A- they both come just once a year…(she's so lonely) lol! merry early christmas! about 2 hours ago from mobile web
I think getting to know your audience on a personal level is an excellent idea. Consumers are tired of impersonal marketing. But off-colored jokes and discussing your love for your favorite sex toys is going overboard.
When using Twitter – or any other social network – use common sense.
When you can, avoid topics you would never discuss over dinner, or at holiday parties with family. If you are talking politics or religion, be nice. Don't behave like a child if you don't agree with someone; use the opportunity to discuss a topic more in a chat room or other forum. You never know – you just might learn something. By being nice with your responses, you not only share your POV in a positive way, you also exude maturity, friendliness, and professionalism. Those characteristics just might net you a lucrative contract or hosting gig that nets more contacts and sales.
Copyright 2008 Angela Wilson
Want to know great ways to use Twitter to find your audience? Read Angela Wilson's column "Get Twitterpated."0