Twitter Primer

Posted on August 28, 2010


Cawan Cake :P

A few handy tips for getting ahead with (and for offsetting any corporate nonsense about) Twitter.

Use TweetDeck

It will seem overwhelming to begin with but stick with it. Be sure to use it for live events – or popular stuff broadcast on TV or radio. Assign a column based on a search criteria for that particular programme name or the associated hashtag if you know it. Then follow the tweets in that specific column. Ignore everything else.


If you’re building community then you need to engage with the community. Spitting out tweets on a particular subject is dull, tiresome and fundamentally irritating. Strike up conversation (as much as time will allow) with people you see tweeting on your subject. Make it genuine. Be sincere. At the very least you’ll make a new friend. Friends are good.

Follower Numbers

Media people are obsessed with statistics. It’s something to measure success by. Only it’s not. That’s rubbish. Nonsense. Your follower number might seem terribly important but the reality is they mean nothing at all. Ignore your follower numbers. Devote your efforts instead to engaging in conversation with those people who are following you.

Doubt people

You may not have journalist in your job title, but if you’re using Twitter – or any social media for that matter – you’re basically a journalist in all but name. If there’s no biog under the picture then assume the person is a creation of a social media consultancy. If you’re more trusting than I am, look over their most recent tweets. You’ll be able to tell if they’re just talking rubbish or not. If they are, ignore them. They’re a construct. Real people hate constructs with a passion. Or at least, they should.

Remember the Golden Rule

They like you because of the ID card hanging around your neck. Just don’t let the baggage which comes with that ID card limit your potential online.

Remember the other Golden Rule

Be nice. Always. In the same way you’d hold a door open for anyone at work, be nice to anyone online. If you sense bitterness and resentment creeping up on your then step away from the keyboard and go get a coffee. *

* The author is still working on this last point.

The picture in this blog post was published by Flickr User n-o-n-a and is used in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons License.

Posted in: Internet