content strategy

Happy Twitter Accidents

As some of you may know, I am on Twitter under not only one, but two aliases: @wd45, my personal account, and @PRI, for my company.

Anyone that manages multiple Twitter accounts will tell you that the third-party applications out there, like Seesmic and TweetDeck were a godsend for easily managing them. Mostly. TweetDeck makes is almost too easy to make a…mistake.

I maintain a firewall between these two accounts for more than one reason — I am interested in maintaining my own identity on the @wd45, with ridiculous pictures [see this or this] posted to Twitpic, the easy Twitter-linking, photo posting service. Things that I post there might not interest someone that follows the @PRI account.

The @PRI account services the needs of the company, and I have been quite diligent about what makes the cut and what does not. People expect certain things from the company, and they will be expecting that same level of quality and consideration from the @PRI tweets.

This has been a super-successful venture, with two happy mistakes.

Once, a follower had sent a real direct message (a DM, in Twitter parlance), to which I responded via the same, private channel. Or so I thought.

She had offered a note of praise for the company. I looked at her profile page to ensure that the account was real, and noticed that the URL in her bio was yoga-related. In the interest of forging that personal, real-person connection, I said:

Thanks for listening. I practice yoga twice each week as well as daily meditation. I don’t know what I would do without it.

That was not a DM.

It went to the 5,000 or so followers the account had at the time.

Realizing my misstep, I quickly evaluated my options:
-erase it, hope noone notices
-send out an ‘oops’ message and hope that folks ignore it

I chose the latter, but folks did not ignore it. The first response said, “Yeah, I thought that was pretty random. :)” About a dozen people were thrilled by it. Some even said “It is nice to know that you are a real person.”

This could have been an isolated incident, meant as a heuristic tool. Never again would it happen. Vigilance must be maintained!

It was, until this week. I was excited to post a somewhat personal thing to @wd45. September 23 was John Coltrane’s birthday. I was going to show my jazz acumen to my followers by saying this:

You might notice that it is on the @PRI account. Oops again.

There were seven re-tweets, and one other related response.

Again, this reinforces the notion that people want that personal, real-life connection with those they follow in the social media realm; even brands.