When it comes to creating a digital marketing plan – Twitter is the go-to network. Despite years of professional experience on this network, I’ve never had the urge to develop a personal brand on Twitter. Not once. Only after being the last person in digital marketing on the planet to Tweet did I realize what I was missing. Here are some reasons why I’ve been so adamant about personal Twitter use and what changed my mind.
Twitter makes things more complex
I’m a proponent of simple being better. Before creating any social media marketing plan I am careful to recommend venturing into various networks if that’s not what the company is all about. You complicate your life with too many things and you lose overall focus. Creating a personal Twitter is just another account that I have to worry about on top of my business accounts.
Admittedly this my worst excuse for never using Twitter. Twitter helps integrate your other online profiles, making your life easier. As Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. That’s exactly what Twitter’s founders had in mind when they created a 144-character limit for Tweets. Short, succinct and to the point. Nothing more.
It’s easy to say something stupid
Radio personalities are known to make gaffes on the air frequently. Why? Because they’re on the air longer than any other media channel. With Twitter and the 24/7 internet commentary available at our fingertips it happens to everyone now. Take for example the social media marketer that claimed anyone over the age of 25 is too old for social media. 42 percent of employers screen Twitter accounts before making a hiring decision so this is a dangerous game to play.
Should this generation of graduates be scared off because employers feel the need to know every detail of your life before they hire you? Standing up for yourself and letting your opinions known is good. While I wouldn’t get too political, if a company refuses to hire you because of your stance on abortion then you probably shouldn’t work for them in the first place. The pendulum of social media users being rejected is swinging towards being hired for your activity. Blocking Facebook and Twitter is no longer a solution and in fact a hindrance. We’re in the day and age of personal branding – how can we brand ourselves if we neuter our personalities in the name of professionalism?
Pop culture cynicism
Anyone that spends too much time on Reddit or other social websites know that is it easy to get caught in a hive mind. Thanks to the hive mind, 90’s Nickelodeon is the golden age of television to anyone in their 20’s while Justin Bieber is the worst thing to happen to the world since Nickelback. Backlash against pop culture trends is the definition of a 21st century hipster and the avoidance of Twitter and Facebook is no different. Maybe it’s just avoiding the personal use of it because everyone else does it?
The ironic thing is that individuality is encouraged on Twitter. It’s almost a contest to see who can say the most outrageous thing at times. An individual can become “internet famous” if they try hard enough.
Going off people caring about what celebrities ate that morning or when they last had a bowel movement – I can truly care less what celebrities do with their lives. Most Tweeters I encountered told me their favorite activity was stalking celebrities – People that’s life goal is to get a re-tweet back from their idol. Anyone that lives in Los Angeles will tell you that celebrities prefer to be treated like everyone else in public so why do they love the attention they get on Twitter?
It took about a day of Tweeting before realizing that there are interesting people other than movie stars and musicians. I’ve enjoyed following up and coming comedians for some interjected humor in my life as well as finding value through industry peers. By finding others in the field of branding, marketing, social media, even personal interests such as skin care and Gator sports – I’ve found a constant stream of great content that I can interact with! Much of this content has enabled me to create content of my own for various clients. The entire reason why the internet was created was to share industry knowledge among peers. 2012 is no different.
First world problems
For anyone that does their best to promote optimism in their lives, Twitter provides a challenge to that. Twitter is seemingly full of people that like to voice their daily complaints. First world problems are problems only faced by people in industrialized nations. It’s just something that I don’t care to hear on a daily basis.
There is a correlation between negative Tweets and lower follower counts. While negativity seemed to radiate around the few I used to follow, I replaced these Negative Nancy’s with thoughtful, intelligent industry leaders and optimistic friends. People that won’t bring down an otherwise good day with a stupid Tweet.
Many black hat marketers use Twitter as the forefront for developing an easy brand presence by artificially inflating their follower numbers. These are accounts of people that don’t exist and have no plans to ever exist. It almost seems like the guys following the rules can’t get a fair shot. For $5 on Fiver you can buy a thousand followers easy and then it supposedly encourages others to follow you. Why bother getting involved with something that allows such easy manipulation?
This is all well and good until Twitter’s reputation suffers and they put a stop to this. It’s very easy to tell whether or not a Twitter account is fake and an algorithm can easily tell. Google has clamped down on black hat marketers and now Facebook is planning to cut down on fake likes. It’s only a matter of time before Twitter is next. Who will be sitting pretty when this happens? The honest ones.
It really puts a damper on someone’s credibility if they’re just now getting involved with Twitter on a personal basis. Luckily, even someone like me has the experience to operate Twitter on a professional basis for companies. Twitter still challenges me. Follow me @Gatorwills. You can know me as the guy that consults others on digital marketing but was too dumb to get on the Twitter train.