It started out when I was the HR leader at Macmillan Cancer Support. Many of us experimenting with campaigning and fundraising on social media. It was my first foray onto Twitter and I didn’t quite know what to make of it.
Then off I went to do what I am best at and enjoy most (it’s both) with my company as a vehicle. Building a brand became an objective as did developing new networks, meeting new interesting people, accessing and sharing thinking and generating interest in a fairly crowded market.
I know that you can’t ignore Twitter these days but I sometimes wish I could. It is my friend. It is not my friend.
So at four years in nearly what are the positives and negatives ? I’m sharing this as it may be helpful for others……
Twitter is my friend because:
- I have new pals online with whom I have regular, entertaining and interesting interactions.
- Some of these people are becoming pals out in the real world and possibly people with whom I can collaborate.
- I gain perspectives that I would not otherwise gain.
- Awareness of me and my company has undoubtedly risen.
- One of my clients emanated 100% from a Twitter relationship.
- Entertainment is at hand when I want it – for example when something big is on TV and the accompanying tweets can be very very funny.
- I gain knowledge and insights into whatever I want in manageable chunks.
- My passion for wonderful photography is gratified by following certain people.
- I have nearly 1500 followers between my accounts and this brings all manner of fabulous interaction (for me anyway!)
- Some people are kind enough to say they enjoy following me and my rantings. Thank you for being generous.
Twitter is not my friend because:
- I can sometimes (often?) act in a very E and P way and become distracted by my timeline.
- I thus spend too much time tweeting and reading tweets. Way too much.
- It becomes too easy to join in the debate around politics – for example my early morning habit of commenting on Radio 4 Today. This achieves nothing.
- You cannot avoid people of whom you might well steer clear if they were holding forth in a pub – and I have ended up being physically threatened for daring to criticise UKIP on Twitter.
- There’s a great deal of junk and spam.
- Too few people seem capable of disagreeing harmoniously online.
- It is really hard to get a message and a tone across in 140 characters. This means that the style I hope to have (and I think I usually have in real life) doesn’t always come across. I know because I have recently asked a few people for feedback . As a result I now have evidence that, amongst some positives, I am also less measured (unsurprising but I like being measured), more direct and maybe a different version of Tony compared to reality. Given what I do for a living I want to shift this. This matters.
- I want to be at my best more often.
Therefore my conclusion is…….. I am hoping to change how I use Twitter over the next few months so that I am enjoying the good things on the first list and minimising those in the second.
Wish me luck please. This may be harder than I would like.