Twitter is by no means a new platform, yet for some reason, many PR pros—and professionals of all stripes—continue to misuse, misunderstand and not fully take advantage of it. Here are four common mistakes PR professionals are making on Twitter, and how they can fix them.
- Lacking personality: With their clients, co-workers and other peers following them, many PR pros fear being too personal on Twitter. However, it is certainly possible to remain professional and showcase your personality at the same time. At CooperKatz & Co. we constantly preach how incorporating our personalities into our writing enhances it, and the same holds true when restricted to 140 characters.
- Maintaining two separate accounts: Maintaining two Twitter accounts—one for personal and one for professional usage—may have been acceptable years ago, but it has since become largely frowned upon, and for good reason. After all, if you’re saying something to your friends on Twitter that you wouldn’t say to your colleagues, you probably shouldn’t be saying it on the Internet at all.
- Playing fast and loose with manual retweets: As PR pros, we know that we don’t just write tweets—we craft them. Everything down to the punctuation is intentional. Thus, if you’re going to manually retweet a tweet (meaning copying and pasting a tweet with “RT” in front of it, as opposed to hitting the “Retweet” button), don’t change the original tweeter’s writing. Or, if you need to for space reasons, be sure to use “MT,” which stands for modified tweet, to clearly indicate that changes have been made.
- Direct message abuse: For active Twitter users—which most journalists are, as well as many consumers—a Twitter direct message inbox is more personal than an email inbox. After all, you can only send a direct message to a user who is following you. So if you’d like to reach out to a journalist or consumer on Twitter, tweet at them; don’t spam their direct message inbox. Doing the latter is more likely to get you an unfollow than a positive response.
Fully taking advantage of Twitter and using it correctly will undoubtedly improve your performance at work. It’s time for all PR pros to take Twitter seriously.
To get the latest best practices on using Twitter for PR, register for PR News' March 14 Twitter & Vine webinar.