Twitter: A Whiff of Thanksgiving

If you are a public affairs or media shop advocating issues, promoting products or services, or the expertise of your clients or organizations, don’t Tweet until you’re ready. Twitter at its best is an invitation; a hand outstretched with the keys to the car, the trailer that primes your heart for the movie, a whiff of Thanksgiving in chilly air. It’s a hint of what’s available, even a promise of what you’ll find if you follow.

I click into a fresh take from individuals all the time; people who Tweet as I do – broad subjects from general interest reading and viewing. Rank and Ronin and all in between, it’s a spin for the joy of intellectual discovery the way Pandora or Spotify are with music.

But for organizations, different expectations. I need to know the Tweets are coming to me as the fresh edge of an effort that has decent helpings of information and insight – things to read and hear and see and ways to act and link and learn more.

Is your organization only involved in a side dish of the information or activity? No matter. If you are jumping into the 140-character space to lure audience, you can still hostess an understanding and engagement in the subject deeper than your own mission re-statement. Start with posts that combine ingredients of content that add value or flavor to your topic, curate a topic or a category of interest or currency; add personality, elements of thinking aloud, immediacy. Now you’re adding flavor and real value that will keep your audience coming back.

I get the Twitter cornucopia of culture and personal branding and I’m in awe of its mass deputizations of journalists inside breaking news. But long term, if your Tweets are meant as more than the sugar rush of mind, imagination and events, read, study the ingredients of your subject, stock the larder with content and keep it fresh. Don’t invite people to the table until you or your organization can host more than a snack.

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