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The Art Of Tweeting: Do's And Don'ts

Don't do social, be S.O.C.I.A.L.: Sincere, Open, Collaborative, Interested, Authentic and Likeable. Be human and have fun.

Just Be You -- Authentic engagement thrives on social media. It is an online conversation, not a broadcast. So, if you wouldn't rattle off "marketing speak" in a face-to-face conversation with a friend, then don't tweet it. By being yourself you will establish a genuine, authentic and a personal voice that will get people interested and help to humanize your brand. Xerox's CMO Christa Carone (@ChristaCarone), reminds usthat "the only legitimate social media voice is the same one you would use in a room full of peers." Twitter echoes that with the advice to, "Tweet like you're having a conversation with a good friend."

Think Quality and Engagement, Not Quantity-- Don't get caught up in obsessing about the number of followers you have or the number of times you tweet each day. Instead, obsess about quality engagement, and your following will follow. Focus on connecting people. In a knowledge sharing economy, connections bolster influence. Connect people and the dots will follow. Engage your followers by creating quality content that is interesting, conversational and valuable.

Influence on the social Web is earned by adding value into others' networks and streams. As an avid Twitter user, I constantly share and engage with my network on everything from inspirational words of wisdom, to relevant industry posts and interesting articles, to recruiting amazing talent and everything in between (that includes my vacation pictures).

Listen and Respond -- Worry less about being heard and more about listening, or as SAP's CMO Jonathan Becher puts it, "Be social to listen, not to talk." It may be hard to quantify your listening skills in the real world, but the online world has proven to be quite the contrary. Every comment you respond to, retweet you send or question you answer is a structured form of practice for one of the most important skills a person can have online and off: listening.

Using social media has become a natural part of my day. Like breathing, it just happens. It's not something I "do" but something I live.

Here is an acronym to help you remember the art of tweeting: Don't do social, be S.O.C.I.A.L.: Sincere, Open, Collaborative, Interested, Authentic and Likeable. Be human and have fun.

Vala Afshar is the CMO and Chief Customer Officer for Enterasys Networks, responsible for global marketing and customer service and support operations. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Afshar is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence and customer relationship management. Afshar is also the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence.

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User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2013 | 11:14:40 AM
re: The Art Of Tweeting: Do's And Don'ts
Fantastic primer on Twitter, well done Vala!
Cara Latham
Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/11/2013 | 12:18:30 PM
re: The Art Of Tweeting: Do's And Don'ts
I agree with that. You can meet like-minded individuals with similar interests who can offer more information and more content on the topics that matter to you, especially if you and they are organizing tweets using the same hashtags. I think there should be caution, though, not to use too many hashtags.
Alex Kane Rudansky
Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2013 | 8:29:00 PM
re: The Art Of Tweeting: Do's And Don'ts
For me, Twitter is all about access. It offers access to people I would have otherwise never been able to contact or never even heard of, but who are very valuable resources. Twitter also gives the world access to me, and gives me a platform to create a personal brand.
User Rank: Apprentice
7/9/2013 | 8:32:28 PM
re: The Art Of Tweeting: Do's And Don'ts
Twitter is as much about asking and answering questions as it is making statements. I want to learn from the question strings. Some people forget that.

Laurianne McLaughlin
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/9/2013 | 7:15:21 PM
re: The Art Of Tweeting: Do's And Don'ts
Vala, I wonder if you have any tips about what makes for a good conversation starter on an internal social network. Sometimes, it seems like the tendency is to engage in too much happy talk cheer leading and not enough discussion of business challenges and the work that needs to be done.
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