Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

Posts Tagged ‘micro blogging

Is twitter the new email?

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Next stop Tweeters corner - Hyde Park

Now that Twitter, the micro blogging site, has reached the heady heights of one of the top 100 sites in the UK, I thought it might be useful to have some kind of Twitter language discussion; not just the usual how you should use it, why you should use it, how it helps you business (or not) etc, but also tone, language and style of tweets.

Following in the footsteps of email, 10 or more years ago, Twitter has people excited, bored and cautious all in the same breadth. And, in the same vein as email, businesses are attempting to understand how this new form of communication can help their company develop, or indeed if it’s just a time-wasting, productivity-reducing, miniature FaceBook ‘status’ type application.

But while FaceBook is designed for and mainly used by Friends to reunite and share their lives, email has become the primary source of business communications. Back in the mid-1990s, email was shrouded in FUD, and many businesses blocked their workers from using it – an eventuality that could happen to Twitter.

To stop that from happening I have come up with the following ten tips for those of you starting out in the Twitter tundra.

1 ) If your followers are mainly colleagues use appropriate language – if you wouldn’t use it in an email to a client – don’t Tweet it

2 ) Saying that, don’t be boring and corporate. Twitter is a social networking tool, so keep the tone light and simple

3 ) Twitter is only 140 characters, but this is no excuse to start using text language like a teenager. L8r and 4u aren’t professional

4 ) Abbreviations can be things such as, pls, tho, thru – general rule of thumb – if your parents would understand it, then you can use it

5 ) Ensure you use the right capital letters in the right place, this is 140 characters, it doesn’t mean 140 characters of bad grammar

6 ) Use punctuation, otherwise people will not understand what you are talking about and may misinterpret your tone

7 ) Remember discretion. You wouldn’t put what you think about your customer/client in an email to them, so don’t announce it on Twitter

8 ) Don’t run over 140 characters – if you can’t say it in the allotted space then maybe you shouldn’t be saying it to a Twitter audience

9 ) Be useful – you wouldn’t just send an email out to customers telling them what you had for breakfast so don’t Tweet it

10 ) Twitter is developing a sub-language. Don’t succumb to this. Twitter is just micro blogging no need for a new vocabulary

And there you have it. 10 rules all succinctly conveyed in 140 characters or less in true Twitter style. But in the meantime, let’s make hay and get busy twittering our thoughts, passions, funnies and important news articles, to our loyal followers. With any form of communications you have to think about the audience – who is reading this and why? And from that point, adapt your style, language and content accordingly.

Happy tweeting.

Sarahttp://twitter.com/saradriscoll

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Written by pilotlight

16/02/2009 at 2:03 pm