When it comes to Twitter, if you can't beat 'em...

It's been a month of tweets, hasn't it? First, it was the election in Iran.

It's been a month of tweets, hasn't it? First, it was the election in Iran. Now, it's the sudden death of Michael Jackson.

Love it or hate it, Twitter has become a key player in the transformation of online communications. USA Today noted in a report this week that Twitter is becoming a communications  cpipeline between businesses and their customers, a place where customers can air their concerns and gripes and companies can announce new products and promotions.

This morning, I stumbled upon - via a re-tweet - a blog post called "How to look like a Twitter rookie" by social media consultant Kelby Carr that offers some pretty good pointers. If your company is thinking about a Twitter strategy - and many of you are - then her list is worth a quick read. There's some valuable advice in there. Here is an excerpt on how to spot a Twitter rookie:

  • They use Twitter only to self-promote. All of their posts are about their business of blog. (Hint: Twitter is like a big networking event. You wouldn’t go around shoving your business card in people’s faces at a dinner party, would you? Then don’t do that online either. Mingle, get to know people, have some conversations.)
  • They get on Twitter to self-promote, and then protect their updates. And then follow people. (Hint: unless you have a major reason to protect your updates, keep it open. It’s a really odd experience to be followed by someone, only to ask permission to follow the person back. This is a social network, not an anti-social network.)
  • Tweeting non-stop minutia. It’s OK to tweet something silly or an odd observation, but people don’t need to know about every small detail of your life. (Hint: ask yourself if this might actually interest your followers. If you aren’t sure, some little details of life do really engage followers. See which ones get lots of replies, and that will help you determine which minutia is quirky and engaging, and which is just minute.)

Also see: Directory of CIOs on Twitter

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