Giving you permission to just be you.

Stay active on Twitter long enough and you’ll find yourself at an online identity crisis. As your reputation grows in a particular community or subject matter you’ll suddenly discover that you are torn between perceived community expectations and just being yourself.

This is your permission slip to just be yourself.

Less is More…

So I follow you because you are an amazing underwater basket weaver and you tweet great links about basket weaving. Then to my horror I see you tweet about your kids or a fishing trip and in my disgust I unfollow you.

Your followers drop. You begin questioning and over analyzing your tweets. Each click stat becomes an individual referendum on your value.

I’m not advocating that Twitter is about numbers. It isn’t. It’s about quality vs quantity and that my friend is the point.

Will you lose followers if you tweet about your vacation or NASCAR races?

Yes.

Were those people really worth catering to in the first place? Not really.

The quality folks in your community won’t bat an eye at the personal tweets and you’ll find that they will actually become more engaging.

Everyone is in the relationship business

Relationships in real life aren’t built between businesses and entities they are between people.

Twitter is no different.

No one wants to be friends with a brand we all prefer people.

Parting Advice

While I tweet about everything from college sports to my faith there is one subject I moderate. Politics.

It is no secret that I lean sharply one direction but I take great care not to be inflammatory or divisive. A good friend recently said, “You’re the nicest conservative we know, and trust us in our house that’s really saying something.” I wear that compliment as a badge because I don’t always succeed but it is always my goal.

There are plenty of people that ignore this advice without harm but I just wanted to issue a word of caution before you dive into hot button subjects.

TakeAways

Be kind, Be helpful, but feel free to be yourself because at the end of the day that’s all you can be.

10 responses to “Giving you permission to just be you.”

  1. Satinders says:

    I completely agree with you. Many follow's me by seeing my 1 tweet but next day when they see me tweeting about something else – I get an email saying abc has “Un-followed” me.
    Initially it bothers me why they have un-followed me but later on i realize that i want to be me. Am not here to boost their perception, So people who are interested in having conversation or in engagement on different aspects will stay rest disappear.

  2. Kelli Marks says:

    I have no clue who I am on Twitter and for the most part, I’m OK with that. I am who I am and that’s what you get on Twitter (except with less cussing). At times I feel like I should be pushing more advertising related links, but honestly there are many, many other ad peeps out there doing a better job than I ever could at it. So I stick to my random observations, cake pics and jokes.
    Glad to know what I’m doing works.

  3. Love this post. You must've been at @kerrijack's house. I agree. You are the nicest conservative I know, and I could probably benefit from your advice on this subject.

  4. Sarah says:

    I solve this “problem” by not keeping up with unfollows. I don't get emails saying I've been unfollowed. I don't get obsessive about my number of followers, because I almost never look at my number of followers in TweetDeck or UberTwitter. It probably helps that my Twitter is just for me and was originally started for my blog, which is also very “me.” I write and tweet about things I'm interested in, things that make me happy, things that make me mad. Sometimes that even includes politics, though I try not to say anything I wouldn't say to family members with differing political views from me. Generally, I don't tweet it if I wouldn't say it over dinner in a restaurant.

  5. Valley says:

    Thanks for the advice. It is very freeing being myself on Twitter. The number of followers don't matter.

  6. Keith says:

    It took me a long time to not care about people unfollowing me but once I
    reached that point it felt like I was let out of a cage. I'm glad you liked
    the post and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

    Thank you

  7. Keith says:

    I think it absolutely works. I started on twitter in the InfoSec world,
    moved toward Business IT, & of late toward social media I used to be
    concerned about such a broad range of interests but its who I am. I really
    appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. It's always a pleasure to
    have a friend read and respond. Thanks Kelli.

  8. Keith says:

    Thank you Stephanie. It seems as if this has been a common conversation of
    late. You are too kind and I really appreciate you taking the time to read
    my little ramblings and for leaving a comment.

  9. Keith says:

    I don't worry about unfollows any more either. As a matter of fact it is one
    of my first recommendations to making Twitter more enjoyable (
    http://bit.ly/9oXGct ). I like your rule of don't tweet anything you
    wouldn't say over dinner in public.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and especially for leaving a comment.
    I really appreciate it.

  10. Keith says:

    Nothing we all don't already know but it's easy to forget. Thanks for
    reading and for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it Niguel.

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