“Am I to understand that you lot will not be keeping to the code, then?” - Captain Jack Sparrow
I get asked a lot about how to best manage and maintain a Twitter account, so much that I actually do it for a living. That being said, a few topics have arisen in my timeline that made want to address the issue of how to manage your personal Twitter account. But, I can’t do that.
Your personal Twitter account is just that, personal. There is nobody (friends, co-workers, marketing and SEO “experts” or even me) that can properly tell you how to run your account. It’s yours. You have the ability to mold it to whatever you want it to be. The best piece of advice I can give you:
There is no spoon….
Sure, I can make suggestions based on what you would like to accomplish. But in the end, you must do what you feel is best.
I use Twitter as my source for all things including news, weather, sports, entertainment and almost anything else. Rarely do I even turn on the TV to find out information because I can get it first on Twitter.
It has become such a part of my day that if you gave me the choice of my iPhone or never being able to use Twitter again, I would snap toss my phone in the trash.
Luckily, I don’t have to make that choice and my Twitter machine (iPhone) remains at my side. I have even strategically place the Twitter icon in the lower right of my phone for quickest and easiest access with my thumb.
There are a few simple rules that I use for my personal @WhoJedi Twitter account. Well, they are more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules (okay, no more Pirates references).
You may have noticed, but I don’t post a great deal. This isn’t necessarily by choice, but more of the fact that maintain upwards of 50 or more other accounts normally takes most of my time.
I do, however, make a conscious effort to post information that my followers might find interesting, useful or amusing. If it is none of those things, I feel there is no need to post it.
This is a topic that actually made me write this blog. I recently read a post by John Scalzi regarding his policy on RT’s. It was great and I found that I subconsciously was doing the same thing.
I rarely RT. When I do, you know it is something that I find very important. I do not and will not RT something just because somebody asks me to. Nothing irks me more than a bunch of charity RT’s showing up in my timeline, only to find out that it is a fraud.
Do some research on your own. If it is something that you feel is important to you, then put your own post up.
If you ask me to RT something, odds are I won’t. Nothing personal, I just don’t do that.
In the past eight months, I have exactly RT a total of five posts. FIVE!
If you post something I feel is something that would be of interest to my followers, I normally reword it in a way that shows why it means something to ME. Personally, I think that is the best way to go about it.
I like this policy and I think it works for me.
Who I Follow
I follow a lot of accounts. Mainly because I pull all information I need from Twitter. People often wonder how I can keep up with it, but it isn’t that hard.
Some of the people I follow are only for a short time, like for a specific event. Then, they get the unfollow click. Again, nothing personal, I just have to manage my account to some degree.
While I don’t RT many things, I follow a number of people who have the same interests as me who do.
This allows me to do two things.
1. It lets me see posts or links that I know will be of interest to me.
2. Helps keep my Following list more manageable.
For example, my friend Bonnie Burton RT’s quite a bit, but I have found that I have interest in almost every one of her posts. It’s almost like I am letting Bonnie, and others like her, search for me.
Thank you Bonnie.
One thing I firmly believe in for my personal account is not skewing my Followers number. My people follow me because they want to, not because I ran a contest to get followers or bought them.
If you want to do that, fine. It’s your account. But, your Twitter account is only effective, influential or meaningful if your followers actually read it.
Let me repeat that, your Twitter account is only effective, influential or meaningful if your followers actually read it.
Okay, this is where I allow myself to geek out a bit. I know I don’t use it in the proper manner, but that is my choice.
This is where I put posts where I have been mentioned or RT’d by somebody on Twitter. It’s kind of like my personal Twitter trophy case.
I run all kinds of accounts on Twitter: actors, athletes, television shows, movies, businesses and events. They all require different levels of assistance and guidelines.
But, your personal account is just that, personal. Do with it what you like. Post what you want.
If people criticize you about it or complain, who cares? The problem is theirs, not yours. You have the right, the ability and the creativity to do whatever you want.
Don’t forget that, no matter what anyone tweets to you….