Twitter is a powerful tool. For those not familiar with it, the concept of a “tweet” is essentially a micro-blog post. You are limited to 140 characters. Your “tweet” will then be available via your Twitter account to anyone who follows you, or will be broadcast to anyone who has signed up to receive tweets – they look like text messages.
And, just like everything else, there are people who get it and are building awareness, PR, marketing, or just sharing with friends and family – and there are people who are clogging our phones, PDAs, and web browsers with garbage.
Now, the beauty of Twitter is that you can publish anything, and of course, you don’t have to follow anyone you don’t want to. But, the issue comes up when you think you want to follow someone, and it turns out to be a bad mistake.
How should you use Twitter? Well, the short answer is anyway you’d like. The longer answer might be to share relevant and useful information. A good example of a solid tweet would be tweeting about a news story, YouTube video worth watching, or a change to your website. In these cases, you’re using Twitter as a broadcast mechanism to share additional news that may interest people who follow you.
A less than terrific use of Twitter is to share tweets that mislead people who sign up to follow the author. If you’re a photographer, people expect to get tweets about new photos online, client engagements, cool new technology, etc. But, if you’re a photog and you send tweets like, “my pies were burned, I’m so pissed!” – then you’re not really sharing with your audience.
So, if you’re following someone via Twitter, give them feedback about the value of their tweets. Make certain the emerging technologies we’re sharing with so many of clients are effective and hep them build business, not lose it.
If you come across a dumb tweet, report it at http://www.tweetledumb.com. The author gets notified that they’ve been reported to tweetledumb and the rest of us get a good laugh.