Using Twitter Professionally vs. Personally

By on August 1, 2013

By Ryan Currie –

Twitter is a great tool for networking, both personal and business-related. As it turns out, 160 characters are just enough to get your point across without boring your reader. It’s important to remember, however, if you’re considering using Twitter as a professional tool, there are a few guidelines to stick by at all times. Below are a few rules for using Twitter professionally vs. using Twitter personally:

Personally: Tweet that funny, profanity-laced joked you just heard.
Professionally: Remember that as the “voice” of your business, you must always, always remain professional. Avoid using offensive language or making any remarks that may be misconstrued by your followers as insensitive.

Personally: Follow, follow, follow everyone!
Professionally: It can be tempting to hit the “follow” button over and over again in an attempt to get popular on Twitter fast. It’s better, however, to carefully cultivate a list of followers that are relevant to your brand. You’re more likely to gain sustainable followers this way, but also more likely to amass readers who care what you have to say.

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Personally: What a hilarious photo of a dog. Retweet it!
Professionally: Twitter is conversational and naturally casual, but you shouldn’t approach your business account the same way you do your personal one. There are plenty of funny, interesting things being Tweeted, but think twice before associating those with your brand unless they’re truly relevant.

Personally: Have a day-long back-and-forth Twitter conversation with your best friend.
Professionally: When someone initiates a conversation on Twitter, respond! That’s the point. Be sure you do so in a way that’s suitable for all your followers to read and if the conversation needs to continue, take it private. Direct Messaging is a great feature for a business Twitter account.

Personally: Never Tweet a picture unless you’re looking your best.
Professionally: Let the public see the behind the scenes at your business – that’s what social media is for! Occasionally sharing a picture of your factory or the fun and games in the breakroom are what give your business a personality and helps connect you to your clients.

Personally: Tweet your breakfast. And some song lyrics. And nine pictures of your hair.
Professionally: Keep your Tweets to around five or less a day; any more and people will start to tune you out. Try and Tweet every day, though, or you’ll get lost in a constantly-updating newsfeed.

In general, if you wouldn’t say it directly to a client’s face you shouldn’t Tweet it to your followers. And remember, your personal identity and professional identity are irrevocably linked thank to the internet, so be careful what you’re putting out there as it will always come back to your brand.

Ryan is a product manager at, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development.  In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.

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Using Twitter Professionally vs. Personally