Response: A Balanced Twitter Diet

As part of one of my public relations courses, each week I’ll be responding to one of the posts collected by my professor Kathryn Thier in her weekly, yet-to-be-named, blog post. She’s still looking for some sort of clever or catchy name for her weekly gathering of PR-related blog posts. If you’ve got any ideas, leave it in the comments.

This week, I’ve got a few responses to Tim O’Brien’s blog post, Perfecting a Platform: A PR Pro’s 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Twitter. This blog emphasizes ways to effectively increase tweet volume as well as choosing tweets that reflect your brand. As someone who considers myself not only a tweetaholic, but also someone with a distinct personal brand on Twitter, I decided that a few of these Twitter resolutions tied in nicely with by blog on branding and humor. The first resolution that I found important was to decide what type of tweets would best reflect your brand. When incorporating humor into a tweet repertoire, it’s important to remember that humor always has its place. In the same way that a poorly timed joke can be inappropriate during a serious moment, tweets that attempt to bring humor where it doesn’t belong are equally unfit.

O’Brien notes that “a healthy mix of tweets includes a wide range of content.” In other words, just because you want to be funny doesn’t mean you ALWAYS have to be funny; the humor should always be organic. If you told 15 jokes a day, it might seem a forced. Similarly, 15 humorous tweets a day might be a bit much, unless you’re a comedian. Or Taco Bell. You can be funny, but always mix it in. “Everything in moderation,” as my dad used to say.

The second resolution that I found noteworthy was to make sure that you integrate Twitter into everything that you program for public relations. This one is more about business tweeting than personal tweeting, however there is still something to be absorbed for a personal account as well. When running a company’s Twitter account, the story told collectively through your tweets should reflect the overall story told through all channels of public relations. It might be in a different voice, but it should convey the same message. One tweet, or even five tweets, probably won’t be able to cover all the material that’s covered in a news release, but the audience should still be able to find the same news value.

This second resolution really hits home for me. Whether it be my use of #Spotted whenever my people-watching prompts me to share a gem, my semi-sarcastic live tweeting of episodes of ABC’s The Bachelor, or the fact that I list myself as a Hashtag Architect in my bio due to my habit of grouping together tweets with hashtags of my own invention (after all, that is the point of hashtags), I make a sincere effort to make sure that my jests and jokes aren’t the only thing on my timeline. There’s more to me than a sense of humor, and if I want to show that, my tweets have to reflect that.

My main takeaway is that for people out there looking to step up their Twitter game, don’t just tweet to tweet. Whether you’re creating content for your own personal account, or for that of a company or organization, make sure your timeline shows all aspects of you. Your Twitter account may very well be a follower’s only interaction with you, so make sure it’s an accurate representation. Think of your timeline as a food pyramid. No matter where you think humor should land, make sure it’s balanced out with the other food groups types of tweets.



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