Twitter – Keeping it Simple

by Jan Yuill

Despite the fact that Twitter boasts about 100 million users since its creation in 2006, I find that many of my colleagues and friends are quite hesitant or reluctant to join in the fun. I admit that I still have some Twitter block myself, but I have had some really interesting connections in the time that I have been using it.

Here are a few of “my simple rules” for tweeting:

  1. Post only worthwhile content!!! You are the judge of what is worthwhile and interesting, but really … how many people are going to want to hear that you are watching another CSI rerun or browsing for lightbulbs in WalMart?Actually, tweeting things that I find interesting, has saved my neck many times! “Now where did I file that article? Oh, right, I tweeted it! There’s the link!”
  2. I only follow people who put their real names on their profile. When there is no name, just a company name or twitter handle, I find the content is often promotional or spammy in some way. The same holds true for a picture of the person. How can you make a meaningful connection with a corporate profile?!
  3. But there are exceptions to #2. Sometimes companies have several people tweeting on one account. But check out their content before following them.
  4. When someone follows me, I always go to their profile and read their basic information and their most recent tweets … for two reasons. The first reason, is that sometimes the content is completely inappropriate, and I block those people immediately.The second reason, is that I like to send a message to them. Never promotional! Something like: “Greetings from Ottawa. Thanks for the follow.” Just a simple, personal touch. What a thrill to say hi to someone in Belgium or Australia! It often opens up interesting conversations.
  5. When I read a yummy tweet, I retweet it!! This is considered a compliment in Twitter World; it’s oh, so simple to do; it’s a way of keeping track of news, ideas, quotable quotes, and such; and it’s a way of keeping your own tweets up-to-date and content-rich. Definitely a win-win-win!
  6. Put an interesting background on your profile, rather than using a generic one. Remember: you only get one chance to make a first impression! Go to your settings to get creative.

That’s it for my basics! Follow me at