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March 26, 2017

The Best Twitter Advice I Ever Received

By michaelpace on September 12, 2011

Twitter profile

For the past couple years, much of the chatter and content on/in social networks has been about authenticity, trust, and not being “all about you”.  I am a big promoter of this philosophy, and truly believe this type of open content is the cream that will rise to the top.  But how do you know you are creating authentic sounding and trustworthy content? Or doing it well?

In the Twittersphere, each tweet is often just a moment of thought, sharing, promotion, or piece of silliness.   The roots of context, reliability and sincerity are difficult to ascertain.  Whether you tweet 1-2 times a day or 20-30, people on the other end of your feed build an impression of you.  It might be fair. It might not be.  You may have a different impact than your intent.  You may not realize how often you tweet about your job, promote your workplace, complain, distribute cat videos, or share other’s content.  Or the worst, you could be boring. So how can you tell or at least get an idea of how others see you?

The best twitter advice I ever received: 

Periodically, read through your sent messages and perform a self quality assurance check; a minimum of twenty tweets or a few weeks worth depending on your frequency.

(Paraphrased advice from Jim Storer of the Community Roundtable)

 If you have never done it, open up another browser tab and do it now! (But come back)

  • Be objective about yourself
  • Would you want to read You?
  • Is this the persona you want to portray?
  • What do you really tweet about?
  • Are you boring? Or untrustworthy?

I review my prior month’s worth of tweets usually at the beginning of the following month, religiously.  I block out the time on my calendar (and I am not an organization freak at all – come see my desk at work).  I block it out, because it is important.  If your personal or corporate brand is not important, please skip the rest of this post, I hear there is a new talking fruit video online now.

So what did my twitter feed look like last month (August):

Twitter topics

My thoughts on my own “performance” last month:                                                                 n=518

  • Happy to see General Friend Conversations and Relationship Building as my largest category – these are @ responses or starting conversations with friends or new people
  • Slightly surprised by amount of Twitterchat/Conference tweets from last month, but much of the total came from hosting #CCDemo11 (Prep for call center conference in Oct.)
  • 27% of tweets I consider professional (my blog or event promotion, Constant Contact promotion, retweeting educational material, and Job postings/referrals/retweets)
  • Could promote Constant Contact a bit more
  • I tell people where I am, what I am listening to, and what I am watching a bit too much
  • Qualitatively, I could tweet a bit less from bars after 3 or 4 beers

You need to decide and determine your own balance for yourself and your brand (personal or corporate).  My general theme is to provide edu-taining content while providing a small glimpse into who I am as a person.  The specific goals of my tweets are to;

  1. Establish myself as a Customer Service leader
  2. Become known as a leader in social business
  3. Meet/form relationships with interesting people

While this post has been predominately about me, it’s intention to push you to get introspective about yourself or your brand.  A tweet has a relatively short shelf life on the web, but it only takes a few seconds to create an impression.  That impression can be the difference between people believing you to be authentic/trustworthy and being seen as a corporate shill, fake or boring.

Does anyone know of an easy service to collect information on yourself?  I do a lot this manually.

Let me know if you learn anything about yourselves that you didn’t realize before you reviewed your tweets.

Random helpful twitter resources similar to this topic:

Power 50 Twitter Tips by Chris Brogan

ProBloggers 35 Twitter Tips from 35 Twitter Users

Social Media Quickstarter for Twitter

About mpace101


  1. 7 Comments

    This is great advice for all forms of Social Media interactions; I am also a great believer in the review of content in multiple contexts. For Facebook it works in reverse. We’ve done audits of client’s Facebook posts, and found it very enlightening to do this: have everyone in the office take screen shots of the clients’ post in context of their newsfeed. Clients were surprised and disappointed to see themselves sandwiched between unexpected bits of personal or corporate information. Which often meant that their posts didn’t come across as interesting, relevant or newsworthy as they thought – because they we’re looking far enough out of their own environment.

    Also, I like the chart… the idea that there can be a measurable science of qualitative impression against content output is a long-running advertising metric, but its interesting when applied to the microcosm of tweets from a individual.


      Thanks Jeanette,

      Never thought about Facebook posts in context to other’s posts within a stream, great perspective to give clients and yourself. Is there anything you were able to do for clients in those situations, love to understand how you can impact your content relative to unknown FB post-ers.


  2. 7 Comments

    Great post Mike. I often advise newbies to listen before engaging. This is a good reminder that we need to listen to _ourselves_ once we make the move to engage.
    I’m also interested to hear how you classified your tweets.

  3. 7 Comments
    Rachel Happe says:

    This is an awesome suggestion Mike and a great analysis – I periodically look but have never done this type of analysis. What are the tools & processes you use to do this? It looks like an Excel chart but given that Twitter doesn’t save a month of Tweets, just wondering what you use as a capture mechanism.


      Hey Rach,

      I would love to find a tool to capture the info, other than going through each tweet in my Sent Messages. I have seen a tool, and even tried it out a while back but I cannot for the life me remember what it was. For some reason Twylah comes to mind, but when I checked it out again, it was different. So yes, it is basic Excel for now. I would assume a Pro version of Hootsuite or Radian6 should be able to pull this info. If you ever find anything, let me know right away.

  4. 7 Comments


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