Home » Social Media Etiquette, Social Sense and Sensibility

How to Balance Personal and Professional on Twitter

Submitted by on September 16, 2009 – 2:42 pm3 Comments

Answering the question: What percentage of tweets should be personal/professional interests?

Loose Transcript
I find this question fascinating because with social technologies business IS personal so that line is very blurry. – Think about some great business leaders that use these tools – GM’s
Bob Lutz on the Fastlane blog where he really shows his passion for cars, Tim O’Reilly on Twitter where it isn’t just about tech books but about big ideas, Murphy Goode Winery on Facebook – where it isn’t about cases shipped – but about wine country lifestyle. In their own ways each of these people is staying professional while letting the personal show.

That balance of personal and professional is important in a social medium – whether on a blog, a social network like Facebook or Twitter. You just need to remember – social tools follow social rules and one social rule is that talking about work all the time is boring. In following people I tend to err on the side of those that show their personality more than strictly their profession. I am more interested in what they are reading, what they find interesting rather that just hearing about their business. So I would say about 60/40 in favor of personal information. I am not saying you need to tell us about your star sign and the fact that you look good in Fall colors here…

Here is my advice on achieving balance beyond a formula: think about your company’s mission – or the larger reason that your business exists – then speak to that. In the example before it is easy to see that wine is about more than a beverage – it is about pleasure, leisure, the good life etc. and so Murphy Goode is able to cover these areas while still having a quote unquote “professional” presence. Ultimately my advice is to find themes that resonate with the aspiration of your business and that you care about personally and Tweet about that. Do that – and I will be following you along with lots of others.

3 Comments »

  • Yes, I couldn’t agree more, about Facebook anyway. One way to get instantly hidden from my Facebook news feed is to post status updates that are only about work. But I have different expectations about Twitter. Maybe it’s because it’s so difficult to express much in 140 characters that I don’t expect much personality or meaningful personal information, or maybe the culture of Twitter is becoming more business-oriented. For most people, Twitter seems to be about a terse headline and an URL-shortened link.

  • [...] Andreas L: How to Balance Personal and Professional on Twitter – Opposable Planets – "That balance of personal and professional is important in a social medium – whether on a blog, a social network like Facebook or Twitter. You just need to remember – social tools follow social rules and one social rule is that talking about work all the time is boring." [...]

  • Twitter is the newest craze today. i tweet at least 5 times a day on my friends just to keep them informed about my whereabouts. I still keep my personal blog though.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Twitter Users!
Enter your personal information in the form or sign in with your Twitter account by clicking the button below.