AAJA student member Peter Sessum, a three-time recipient of Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship who writes for The Daily, documented the event and wrote up 10 Twitter lessons he learned at our AAJA Seattle’s first Innovation Salon:
1. Be yourself. While Twitter can be used for business, it is expression of who you are. Relationships with customers can be built if your Twitter has that personal touch. Better to be loved, or hated, for who you are than to be invisible.
2. Donâ€™t retweet compliments. It comes off as self indulgent and will get you deleted from Becky Selengutâ€™s feed. It is enough that all of the senderâ€™s followers can read it, all of your followers donâ€™t need to as well. Simply reply a thank you and move on.
3. Be mindful of which account you are using. For the professional Twitter, posting a personal Tweet, or replying to a friend, from a business account reflects on the business. Remember to log out and log back in from your personal account.
4. Deleting posts. Recent news proves that deleting can be just as troublesome as the original post. Twitter is in real time and instant gratification. There is a feeling of urgency to post right away or retweet before there is a gap in the posting. In a professional setting, take a moment before posting. It will get read, might as well have it right.
5. Misspellings. Make a correction and move on. Do not be too critical of anotherâ€™s mistakes; it will happen to you too someday.
6. Inflection is lost when typing. A public forum is not the place to give someone new a taste of your sense of humor.
7. Do not argue over twitter. A healthy exchange of ideas is good, shouting matches are not. In online fights there are no winners, only losers.
8. We are all connected in the Twittersphere. Retweets are a good way to link people you donâ€™t know with people you donâ€™t know. Selengutâ€™s beautifully convoluted story that linked up strangers illustrates how to help one another. As a result, you may end up with jam.
9. There is still room for improvement on Twitter. Creative people will find new ways to utilize twitter at 140 words at a time. Limitations do not stifle imagination, they inspire innovation.
10. Most importantly, know when to unplug. Despite all the â€œconnectionsâ€ on Facebook and Twitter, it isnâ€™t real interaction. Sit down with friends and family without phones and computers. Have some real connections, there will be plenty of time to Tweet about it later.