This tweet popped up in my TweetDeck and made me pause:
Rob lists himself as a podcaster, IT trainer & support guy and music fan. But of his last 20 posts over the last five days, 10 were political in nature. Not being from his state, these didn’t really connect with me and likely slid off the screen without me taking note. But I’m certain Rob lost a few followers who either disagreed or just didn’t want to hear about it. I’ve often struggled with tweeting that is off-topic of my usual tweets. Will I lose the attention of those who I wish to influence through twitter if I tweet too much about topics that aren’t of interest to my core audience?
We all tweet for various reasons, but I’ll bet most of us tweet because we have something we wish to share. Something that we think will be of value to others. RTs are a real ego boost. We aren’t talking simply to talk, we are talking hoping that others will listen.
Before I choose to follow someone, I check out his/her recent tweets. Sure that one tweet caught my eye, but was that the exception or the rule? I also hope to see what else this person is all about. Is this a person that I would enjoy having a conversation with at a cocktail party. We always tell brands that social networking is like being at a party. This analogy also applies to how you should run your own personal twitter account.
You need to consider what you hope to accomplish by tweeting. Most of us tweet to demonstrate our interest and opinions around particular subjects in 140 character bites. But recognize that you enter into a social contract of sorts based upon your primary tweeting interests. Your tweet connected with the person. That interest connected with their interests. They want to hear you talk more about that interest.
This social contract doesn’t mean that you are supposed to tweet only about one topic. As I mentioned earlier, I like to see a number of tweets to get a better picture for the complete person. It provides valuable context to the interests of the person which in turn helps me understand the author’s perspectives. These ‘other’ tweets are the fine brush strokes to complete the picture created by the broad brush strokes.