I’ve spoken to a few people recently who’ve admitted to being farty on Twitter.
By farty I mean worried about offending people, not daring to stick their necks out, scared to take a stand or even express an opinion, never mind crack a funny.
It’s easy to understand why. Nobody wants to turn prospective customers off. But there’s a lot of marketing mileage in revealing your personality.
Brave Tweeters grab the most attention
Think about the Tweets you ‘favourite’, re-Tweet and reply to. I bet they’re mostly interesting, intriguing or funny, with a few common or garden worthy and useful ones thrown in for good measure. To write Tweets like that, you need to let your personality off its leash.
Getting heard above the noise – Be a bold Tweeter
How far can you take it?
A handful of people in my Twitter community happily swear and rant, take controversial stances and get thoroughly down and dirty with the whole thing. I love it. I re-Tweet, reply to and favourite their stuff because it makes me laugh, and laughter is a brilliant common denominator.
Occasionally someone takes things a bit too far in a business networking context. But then again, why should they rein themselves in? Twitter was originally a social space, and too much political correctness stifles honest human-to-human communication.
At the end of the day, the only way to tell is to suck it and see.
Test what happens when you break free
If you’re hiding an entertaining, attractive personality under a staid and sensible Twitter persona, break free and be yourself for a while. Test it in the same way you’d test any new marketing initiative. On balance it’s unlikely you’ll lose large chunks of followers and generate general outrage unless you lose the plot and go completely commando.
Don’t mention the war
As with dinner parties, there are some subjects it’s best to steer clear of. Namely politics and religion. But having strong feelings about the world and your place in it is admirable, as well as much more entertaining than magnolia-style Tweeting from an arid personality vacuum.
If in doubt, follow the golden Twitter rule – leave it for five minutes and if you still feel OK about what you’re about to say, press the button. If you blow it, you can always apologise. Genuine remorse can be a powerful marketing tool!
The great pretender
Can you adopt a persona? Of course, and it’s something marketers do for their clients’ brands all the time. If you run a small business, create a list of your business’s top five attributes and use it to drive your Twitter tone of voice.
There’s such a lot of noise on Twitter. Especially when you take it to the max, follow loads of people and collect a large number followers. It’s important to stand out. So no more fartiness. Let it go. You know you want to…