5 things to tweet and 5 things NOT to tweet


Earlier this week I spoke at a financial advisor retreat in the stunning Margaret River region of Western Australia, a region of wide-open beauty that is the source of many extraordinary wines.

I gave two keynotes at the event on subsequent days, on How to Lock-in Your Clients, and Success in a Connected World, which drew on my connected world visual framework.

I will write more later on the quite specific topic of Success in a Connected World for Financial Advisors. For now I thought I’d share a brief extract of the content I covered in my keynote on how to approach Twitter.

Around 15-20% of the audience had Twitter accounts, so my suggestions were intended as a high-level introduction on how to get started on Twitter, though the advice is relevant to anyone. The recommendations are based on my own thoughts as well as a range of research, notably the excellent Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value from Carnegie Mellon University. This is what I suggested:


* Interesting, current links with useful descriptions. The most valuable tweets usually point to fantastic content, with sufficient description for people to know why they should click on it.

* Links to your own content. People like links to content created by the Twitter account owner, which is why they follow them.

* Stimulating questions. People find value in interesting and provocative questions, whether or not they respond on Twitter.

* Occasional unusual or humourous posts. It is good to break up the flow of a Twitter account with funny or different posts, rather than have it be too consistent.

* Responses to others. Twitter is a conversation, so it is important to respond to others, and these can be among the most interesting and informative posts.


* Content-free statements. Don’t say things like hello and goodbye, or other interjections that contain no content and add no value.

* Excessive personal updates. Unless your Twitter circle is only close friends, don’t just tweet your day-by-day activities. It is good to share of yourself and the notable things that you experience, just don’t overdo it.

* Negative thoughts. If you’re feeling down, it’s usually better to keep it to yourself. People are attracted to positive attitudes rather than negative ones. Of course, if you do want to reach for connection at a time of need, Twitter can be invaluable.

* Extended conversations with individuals. Anything much more than a couple of to-and-fro tweets is stultifying to everyone else. Move to direct messages or email.

* Old news. Don’t share things that everyone has already seen. If you’ve seen something on the TV news, be sure that everyone on Twitter knew about it a long time ago.

  • I like it…

  • A handy list. I wish every Twitter user could read these…. the excessive personal updates has removed a couple of tweeters from my following list. I also think a useful descriptions is really important – as it has to attract me to it for me to open the attachment. 
    Thanks for the advice, it will make me think twice about what I tweet from now on!

  • Mick Liubinskas

    I’d also add promoting yourself or own stuff too much as a don’t – I do it. Guilty as changed. I try to be open about it though. 

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