Are you killing your own information on Twitter?

Everyday I see lots of great information on Twitter shared by some really amazing people, accounts and agencies.

Some of this information is through running streams, while some comes through lists and more is found from just basic search parameters.

But, one thing that shows up in almost every manner of information curating I see is the inexplicable Tweet that begins with a Twitter ID.   I hear you right now, “Tim, if I am responding to someone, that is exactly how a Tweet should start!”…and I agree with you there.  IF you are responding to someone that is exactly how a tweet should start.

But, what I am talking about is just a basic Tweet, sharing information that begins with a Twitter ID that is not in response to, or mentioning an account for specific attention / purpose.

Limiting your Audience

Here’s what I mean…

Who is the audience for this post??

Who is the audience for this post??

Why would I compose a Tweet starting with my own ID?

  • I know what I am doing (normally)
  • I don’t speak in the 3rd person (normally)
  • I just limited the audience of this post

Here is another example of how it is often seen…

The audience is again limited

The audience is again limited

I’m not responding to@TheIACP.  I am providing an opinion statement, or information.  Either way, by starting the Tweet with the Twitter ID, the only people who will see this Tweet are those that follow me AND The IACP.  Let’s say there 100 followers between both account and out of those 100, 10 follow both The IACP and me…that means the potential audience to see that Tweet is 10, or in this case 10% of what it could be.

Expanding Your Audience

Unless you are responding to someone, or speaking to that account, never start a Tweet with a Twitter ID.  Instead, start the Tweet with anything else…most commonly a period ( .) or a word opens the potential audience pool.

Using the IACP example above, If I have 50 followers, then the potential audience to see my Tweet is 50 people.  Way better than the 10 who could potentially see it starting with the IACP ID.

In the example below, you can see the use of the period which expands the potential audience of the Tweet.  In this case though, the Calgary Police are actually providing information regarding a specific event in response to a Tweet they were mentioned in. The information/answer is so useful to the community at large, that to limit the response to just the account that posed the original Tweet would be a dis-service to their entire audience, so respond but add the period in at the beginning.

Awesome response for the entire audience

Awesome response for the entire audience

Happy Tweeting everyone!

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About Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including, IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing and crisis communications. For the past five years Tim has been regarded as a world leader in the use of Social Media. He has worked with police, law enforcement, government and non-profits in the development of social media programs, strategy implementation, risk management/mitigation and the day to day use of social media in the use of Social Media for law enforcement. “Social Media is a communications tool plain and simple. What makes it different is the speed, depth and richness of the communication that can take place. It can be used as a global medium or a village voice.” Tim is a regular presenter internationally to audiences of police executives, leadership, front-line and support personnel along with key-note lectures on social media, public safety, community safety and engagement for main stream audiences. Tim delivers memorable presentations that are aimed at being both educating and entertaining to his audience. He speaks in a personal, energetic and highly engaging manner. Tim takes the time to customize each and every presentation to meet the needs and level of understanding for his audience. He leaves the audience inspired and equipped with the knowledge to make a difference and be better prepared to implement key strategies right away. No More BulliesCyber safety and reputation management for families has been a regular topic of discussion in both the main stream media and social media spaces which Tim has been regularly presenting to parent and children’s groups to help protect and educate others on the hidden dangers understanding of the new information age. He resides in both the Toronto, Ontario and Orlando, Florida areas with his wife and three children.
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One Response to Are you killing your own information on Twitter?

  1. David French says:

    Reblogged this on Confusingly Simple and commented:
    This should be one of the first things anybody learns about Twitter! Unfortunately it is usually one of the last.

    It is such an importantly vital tip and yet I catch myself doing it several times a week. DMC

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