February 18, 2015
by Leslie Meng

Twitter: Short on Characters, not on Style

For those of you who don’t yet use Twitter, it is a “micro-blogging” service that allows its users to “tweet” short, 140-character posts. Other users can then reply to these posts, re-tweet them to their own followers, or favorite them. Nowadays, Twitter even allows users to post pictures (or picture collages) and tag people, making it a very exciting method to quickly share a thought, an opinion, a question, or an experience with your audience at any time.

What did we mean when we said “style”?

Because of the nature of Twitter, your profile inextricably creates an image of “you.” The tweets you compose make up part of that image, but so do your re-tweets, favorites, and interactions with your followers. For example, what kind of image do you get about a person who posts often and about random things? You don’t really feel a connection to that person, right?

We keep reiterating this point, but your social media profiles are an extension of your business. How do you want to be perceived? If you want to reflect your professionalism, make sure you compose relevant tweets and re-tweet tweets that have some tie to your business or outlook. If you want to reflect your brand image, tweet inspirational words or quotes that promote your way of life. You can even make an image of it to give it more visual interest!

Style is also reflected in your interactions with others. Some articles advocate getting as many followers as possible just so your profile seems popular. Some even advocate unscrupulous tactics such as purchasing fans or following a user and then unfollowing them after they follow you back. Some Twitter users set up automatic direct messaging that send personality-less responses when people follow or message them. These are not good practices.

What you should do is cultivate a relationship with your followers. You want to have an engaged audience, not just a large one. No one expects you to respond to every tweet, but make sure that the ones you do respond to get a personalized message. If you re-tweet another user’s tweet, don’t forget to add in your own message/response. It looks a little lazy to just re-tweet without adding any feedback.

One last tip to give your Twitter profile some class? Don’t abuse hashtags or trending threads. Only use relevant, distinct, and interesting hashtags. More than that just makes you look outdated and like you’re trying too hard. As for trending stories, you don’t need to share your opinion on every hot topic. Try to stick to topics pertaining to you or your brand image!