It isn’t easy presenting professionalism on Twitter.

On one hand, you want to appear to be a real person, but on the other you don’t feel the need to to share with the whole twitterverse what you had for breakfast.

On one hand, you want/need to promote yourself, your brand, company, services, organization, what-have-you, but on the other it is really bad move to cross the line into “the spam zone”. *cue cheesy horror film music*

Balanced professionalism on Twitter is a tightrope that all businesses should learn to navigate properly.

Be a Real, Relational Person

No matter if there is a logo for your profile picture or not, your tweets need to reflect that whoever is posting is a real, relational person.

A real, relational person

  • listens and thoughtfully participates in conversations
  • is eager to help/on the lookout for problems to help solve
  • expresses gratefulness even for the little things
  • asks questions to learn what you are interested in.


Develop Balanced Content

To go along with the “real relational person” theme,
A real relational person does not talk about themselves all the time.

As a business, it is very important to post your own content, links to your own site, or links to your blog. However, networking is a two way street.  To keep out of the “spam zone”, it is imperative that you also tweet content that you did not create.

I use this balance to guide my tweeting habits:

  1. Every time I tweet one of my blog posts, I tweet 2 other blog posts from other authors as well.
  2. I  tweet my new blog post 4 times on the first day, spread out at least 2-3 hours apart with lots of other good content in between.

This practice helps keep me from “talking constantly about myself”, but still provides the needed exposure.

Transparency Leads to Trust

A real relational person admits when they are wrong, inexperienced, made a mistake, or don’t know the answer.

There is nothing more human than making a mistake.  Admitting that you made a mistake will not ruin your reputation, but not admitting it just might.

When a situation arises, there is always a choice to be made.

This is a list of the wrong choices to make:

  1. ignore it
  2. respond to inflammatory content with inflammatory content
  3. try to hide or delete it.

Contrary to what you might think, addressing a mistake properly  is actually one of the most powerful trust building acts you could ever employ.

As a customer, the brands that I love and trust the most are the ones who addressed every problem I had with transparency, graciousness, and an eagerness to figure out what the problem was and solve it for me.

Break Out the Humor

Really, sometimes I see businesses on twitter that are doing great, but they would be so much more enjoyable if they lightened up a bit.

I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like to at least chuckle every now and then.  Posting a little humorous something is another way to make you feel more like a real person; a person who takes time to laugh and enjoy life.

More Followers is Not Always Better

It’s true, having a ton of followers is usually a good thing.  It means your potential audience is huge.

But! It is better to have a small group of real, relevant and interested followers than 100,000 irrelevant followers.

When I look at a twitter profile, I look at how many followers they have, and how many people they are following. The numbers that impress me the most are the ones where followers are greater than following.  That small statistic automatically raises their importance in my eyes.  It tells me that the popularity of their content is standing on it’s own two legs.

Conversly, accounts that have way less people following them than they are following are automatically moved to the “spammy” category in my brain.

Now, I’m one to talk, because I currently follow more people than are following me  (this is no longer a true statement. Yay for me!). But, I have a goal and an ideal, and that keeps me in a healthy amount of moderation in the balance of those numbers.

I would rather go slowly building strong relationships than try and get 1000 twitter followers in a week.  It will be much better in the long run.


I read this great quote here:

“Not everyone needs what you have to offer them right now.  You want to provide information and solutions that keep them reading, so when they need what you have, then they know you are there for them” ~ Sara Hawkins

Find the balance,




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I'm a social media marketing consultant by day, singer by night. You can get my attention with a huge smile, creativity, and sparkly things. My goal as a consultant and blogger is to help the arts industry by applying social media marketing specifically to musicians and artists and their needs.

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One Response to I Had Spam for Breakfast: Finding the Professional Balance on Twitter

  1. […] should consider visiting. Branching off of last week’s article on Twitter usage is a terrific post from 10/26/2011 by social media consultant Rachel Ann Poling that offers some practical […]

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