Monday, December 8, 2014

On Twitter, it's all about you

By lululemon athletica
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.
org/licenses/by/2.0)], via
Wikimedia Commons
There's a bit of Twitter real estate that can help your organization or client create brand presence. And too often, it's just thrown away. 

It's the "bio." That's what Twitter calls the 160-character summary about yourself or your company. One hundred sixty characters isn't much, but I'm often astounded how many organizations squander this real estate in unrelenting hyperbole. 

Creativity's fine here. But jargon isn't helpful. Here's one example:

BLANK BLANK, one of the nation's leading drug store chains, proactively empowers you in your pursuit of personal wellness. (Website)

What does this mean? Should I expect the drugstore's employees to drop by and be my personal trainer? They sell vitamins, bandages, and personal beauty products. My pursuit of "personal wellness," such as it is, comes from diet, exercise, and some ukulele playing. Not a wellness tag on my key ring. 

Another: 

 award-winning chef/restaurateur 's casual neighborhood joint |  Est. 2011 •  Est. 2015

This is for Harry's Pizzeria in Miami, FL. -- but they never mention pizza! Astounding!  

I'm not crazy about using other Twitter addresses in that space that's supposed to be all about you. I might figure out James Beard's foundation, but I don't know @chefmschwartz -- and would be a bit confused. Just tell me you serve great pizza.

One more:

The D&C is the best source of local news in Rochester, bar none. Compared to the competition, its coverage is deep, varied and enriching.

Very prideful. Boastful, even. Doesn't say "daily," "newspaper," or even "media group," however. Comparisons are hard to make when there's no other daily newspaper in the market. So "compared to the competition" would mean what, exactly? The 30-minute local TV newscast, which on some days runs longer than the time it takes to read the D&C? 

My advice: Don't brag. Don't name drop. Don't wallow in hyperbole. Just tell me who you are. 

By Zesmerelda from Flickr.com (http://flickr.com/photos
/zesmerelda/175053378/) [CC-BY-SA-2.0
 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
A fine example is actor/LGBT activist George Takei, who's known for his immense Facebook following. But his @GeorgeTakei Twitter account has 1.4 million followers. So he's pretty specific: 

My name is George Takei. Some know me as Mr. Sulu but I hope all know me as a believer in, and a fighter for, the equality and dignity of all human beings.

George tells me what he does -- and does so with passion. All Twitter bios should follow his example.