Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Top 10 Twitter Tips

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a Twitter fan. I tweet, I twitter, I am a twitterer, I am a twat. I find the 140 character format perfect for disseminating my own warped world view. And thankfully my spoofer Sir Stephen Bubb hasn't yet found his way onto Twitter so I can carry on regardless without fear of lampoonery and reprisals. Although Hector Rule is often skulking around causing trouble, but I digress.

Yesterday, some terribly important social media event - Nerd Fans of Parapluies (NFP) Social Media (#nfpsm) gathered together some of the biggest zealots for social media, those already hopelessly addicted to it, for a gathering that took preaching to the converted to record levels. But I was happy to add my expertise. Remotely of course. I wouldn't want to actually meet any of these people. Surely the advantage of social media is that you don't have to actually physically get together at an event but can do it all from the comfort of your own home or on the bus. Or while tending your strawberries.

Unsocial media.

Amidst offers of tupperware to store my couscous in from the guru's guru Nick Hoover (@robmydyson) (who may or may not be me) I was asked by Jennie Sparrow (@nickiewren) to compile my list of top 10 Twitter tips to share with delegates. 5 minutes later I had dashed them off. I now reproduce them here for those of you who like to have a twot from time to time. I hope a social media great like Halifax Loch (@howardlake) will find them useful next time he does a presentation.

1) Engage with people even if you suspect they might be a bit weird in real life

2) Be careful how you type hashtags as a mistake could completely change the meaning of something #nfpms

3) Don't start a top 10 list you may struggle to finish

4) Take every opportunity to make The Codfather joke when #fishfilms inevitably rolls by. Again

5) Don't bombard followers with top 10 lists

6) Don't go to tweet ups. These people may seem OK online but in real life...sheeesh

7) Competition is not a disease..oh hang on...that's not a Twitter tip but a mantra from MY report on the NHS

7) Fawn after celebrities then get annoyed if they don't respond to your tweet out of the million they get

8) Heed #coleslaw (named after respected journalist @MrHarryCole) "If you can't say it in 140 don't bother" even if it means cutting tw

9) Mind your fucking language

10) RT as many of the tips in top 10 Twitter tips lists as possible. Or else

11) Learn to count to 140 (and 10)

12) Don't dash off top 10 Twitter tips lists in 5 minutes

PS Social media/geography quiz question. Use Google to give me the names of the 6 Great Lakes.


  1. As you know I found this post funny. Although the problem with twitter is that the conversation only includes those actually already converted! Which means, as you rightly point out, a lot of the tweets you saw through #nfpsm from those attending the convention came from the converts!

    The convention was a serious attempt to engage those who were either not yet converted to the use of social media for good, or those who were converted but wanted to understand how to apply this to their work in a way that gets the outcomes they want. The many delegates out of the 380+ that attended came from small to medium sized organisations who are grappling with these issues and got a lot from the knowledge offered by the converts, experts and thought leaders at the convention.

    Out of the many presentations the least well attended, yet highly valuable, were the policy and campaigning and service delivery ones. Which shows that we still have a long way to go in putting digital technology and social media to effect in areas of influencing government policy, ethical consumer behavior and excellent services saving young peoples lives like CyberMentors and Junction 49 who were also presenting.

    I am sure delegates that did read your top tips got some light relief from the extensive knowledge from all the great speakers! Next time, feel free to come to one of our events as my guest to meet the fantastic organisations doing brilliant work, yet not part of the convert club.

    Shirley Ayres
    Chief Executive, Aspire Knowledge (organisers)

  2. Thanks Robin, for your ultimate list of twitty do's, do nots, and Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band(s). As you know I see you (sometimes in the corner of my eye in a reflective surface) as a leading farce in the parasol community; a bumbershoot guru and canopy thought leader.

    I really hope to meet again in IRL (as the twatters say) but until then, I remain a loyal member of the flock of your mock.

    Until the next #nfpsmdiddydumPdiddy

    Best, Nick