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Should I Tweet My Ham Sandwich?

There are a lot of different ways to “do” Twitter. The trick is to find a style that works for you.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is admittedly on the fringe when it comes to Twitter. He tweets a lot about his lunch. Apparently, this guy loves ham and cheese sandwiches. I mean, he loves them. Sometimes he eats two a day. He has possibly the most boring feed of any public figure on Twitter.

And yet, it works.

As far as his personal brand, he is wildly successful and well-loved. Why? Because he comes across as a simple guy who runs a state with 5.7 million residents, who packs his own lunch every morning. And cheese is a no-brainer in a state like Wisconsin.

Cranberry juice, on the other hand, is questionable.

What is this worth? For a politician, a lot. This shows he is a regular Joe, with regular problems, such as whether the wheat bread in the fridge is still good, who the heck is driving carpool, and is there any gas in the car. He’s relatable and knows his target audience will love his content. If people follow his silly pictures, they may also digest his other relevant content, which may include government updates.

But we are not all government officials with unique content to disseminate. So what do the rest of us laymen do?

Regular readers know I am a big fan of the Rule of Three, which calls for tweeting 60% of the content of others that you believe will be of interest to your followers, and 30% of your own content, or the content of your organization. I recommend stretching this rule even further.

My goal, as a legal marketing and communications coach, is to provide my network with interesting and relevant content, regardless of authorship. I only tweet 5-10% of my own content related to my personal work. There are loads of people more talented, more interesting, and more thoughtful than I am, and I am proud to promote their content the other 95-90% of the time.

If you have relevant personal content, tweet that. If you don’t, DON’T. If someone says it better, tweet that version. You can be successful on Twitter without a shred of original content if you curate the valuable content of others.

Outside of content, how do you build a network?

Humor helps. Personality helps. Passion helps. Dedication to interacting with others on Twitter helps immensely. First, start by tweeting news stories and grow your network organically. As you gain a following, see what your followers are interested in, and whom they follow. Learn who to retweet, who to follow, and who to mention as a thought leader.

You can hire a social media coach to teach you how to use Twitter, but it’s not necessary. Just get aboard and muck around a bit and see what it’s like. You won’t kill anybody. You will learn what works. There are few epic fails, unless you are a smarmy CEO with a penchant for misogynistic ramblings. No one will look up your first 50 tweets.

Wander about, and you will pick it up soon enough.

Susan Kostal is a legal marketing and media coach specializing in the Bay Area legal industry. Find more great content on Twitter @skostal.

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