Tweeting away the day @ work?

A contact I follow on twitter recently notched up their 10,000th tweet.

Fantastic, I thought, I wonder how long they’ve been tweeting? Well turns out they have only been a user since February 2009. In a flash of calculator driven mathematics not seen since high school I suddenly found myself furiously bashing out statistics.

1,111 tweets per month, I said to myself aloud, 37 tweets per day.

Now here’s where it gets interesting.  Let’s assume they sleep for an average of six hours per night, (The Australian average is seven to eight hours) and let’s also assume they don’t sleep-tweet. If both these assertions are true, then during waking hours they tweet twice an hour, every hour, every day! Calculating to 40 minutes a week on Twitter and this does not account for time spent reading tweets.

This lead me to consider how much tweeting is too much? The fact I ponder this question may have some crying – ‘You don’t understand the benefits of social media, you haven’t watched the latest digital webinar podcast, you obviously didn’t attend the last social media marketing drinks on your boss’ time!’

Alas you are mistaken.  I’m a 25 year old gen Y and social media addict. Hell, I even watch the odd webinar!

So what’s the point? Simply this: If we as marketing, media and communications professionals are going to continue zapping large chunks of work time on Twitter, perhaps we ought to give some consideration to our posts.

Open up the conversation

Twitter is awash with marketing and communications professionals talking to other marketing and communications professionals about marketing and communications. Is there someone else on Twitter you would like to be talking to? If the answer is yes, what do you need to say to engage them?

Engage more

I have seen it many times where some Tweeter will ask for feedback on a topic, recommendations for products, or ask some relevant poignant question only to receive minimal response. Why? Where is all the ‘engagement’ that is so imperative to making social media work?

Consider your content

There’s little merit in grandstanding about the amazing benefits of social media if your tweets are limited to insightful gems like ‘Just ate bacon and eggs for breakky’ or ‘taking the dog for a walk now’. Just like the real world, the most effective methods for opening communication channels are sharing interesting or relevant information and asking questions.

Don’t over retweet

It’s annoying when someone in the office re-sends that funny email which everyone has already seen right? The same applies to re-tweets. If it’s all over Twitter, does it need your RT?

Change the subject

Do any of us really need to read another blog about social media? (oh the irony) There’s so much amazing content which doesn’t make its way to the Twittersphere. Be original, informative and entertaining with the links you post and stand out from the crowd!

– Joseph Keller, Account Manager