While my highly scientific poll on what to call Twitter spam may not have yielded statistically significant results, the topic is still very relevant for everyone trying to figure out how to effectively use Twitter these days.
A couple of weeks ago a controversial, and not so nice, tweet from an influential blogger that follows my company sparked a lively conversation in one of our internal communities. This incident reminded me of the embryonic stage we are with social given the raging debates in the industry whether Twitter is a broadcast versus a true engagement channel. For more background read this post from Guy Kawasaki on how he uses Twitter. While I have the utmost respect for Guy, his views are not widely shared in the industry (to say the least).
In that spirit, here are my own rules:
Add value: I saw a tweet from someone the other day, stating how much better his product X is as compared to the competition, also including a link to an official press release. The actual press release contained some interesting facts and had this person summarized some of these facts instead of stating how great his product is, it would have been much more powerful and likely amplified (yes, nobody re-tweeted his tweet).
Be authentic: Being authentic is also about being brave, I came across this tweet from Peter Graf (SAP’s Chief Sustainability Officer) the other day that truly inspired me.
How many Chief Sustainability Officers have you seen re-tweeting a message saying our “CO2 emissions have increased”? Could you ever envision yourselves re-tweeting an analyst saying not-so-positive things about one of your products?
Do not blindly re-tweet: Re-tweets are OK to the extent not overdone. Although there are no widely accepted rules, my personal feed includes no more than 25% of my total tweets on average, and I always read the article (if there is a link) before I re-tweet. Would you quote anyone at a cocktail party if you had not understood what they were saying?
As I said earlier, we are still very early in the social journey and there are no widely accepted rules about what constitutes a good tweet. At the same time, this is I believe our opportunity to set the bar high and engage with each other in a way we would all like to be treated.
I look forward to a lively debate on this topic…