Taking stock of your Twitter output might be illuminating. Do you know what you're chirping on about?
Twitter is a reflecting pool. What you tweet about is what you ARE about on Twitter. No one has any other context for you. (except your friends, and they stopped following you months ago) A friend pointed out to me this weekend, that every time I tweeted something off topic, he was a bit more confused about what my intention was on Twitter.
"Why are you doing it?" he asked.
I had to back up and think about it. I thought I knew. But, what had happened over time is that my focus had begun to wander off target. "For anyone trying to figure you out, when you Tweet about stuff that's not related to social media, they are going to be confused. I know I was confused and I know you."
[And here, I didn't think anyone was really listening.]
So what do I tweet about and why.
- Social media news and ideas (what I think you need to know – what's worth sharing – my curation)
- My own posts on social media (I will keep those other blogs and tweets out of my main stream)
- Something too funny to miss (I try to skip the cute kitty pics, but sometimes I put out a giggle)
- Random non sequiturs (or things that have no relationship to anything else – getting random)
And I try to keep the ratio at something close to: 45% original "social media" tweets; 30% retweets; 15% conversational tweets; 10% random bs. If I suddenly went hog wild over Justin Beiber and upped my random bs tweets to 50%, you'd probably wonder what the heck happened. You'd question why you are following me, and if you were really paying attention you'd ultimately unfollow me and my Beiber fever.
While my slip into "off topic" tweets was not about Beiber, it was as out-of-context as Beiber and my friend, a "listener," asked me about it.
What are you trying to build on Twitter? Why do you work so hard to Tweet (if you do) and what is it that you could drop from your stream of messages that could bring a sharper focus to your purpose? I think in the age of massive irrelevance and spam we must self-evaluate and self-correct. Because if WE become spam, we're part of the problem, and we should be unfollowed. (grin) And if we don't know the difference, an brief Wordle cloud of our subject matter might help illuminate the mind map of our tweets.