Is it possible to think too much about your audience?

When considering your audience on Twitter, there are two main considerations:

  1. Don’t annoy your readers.
  2. Attract readers by being focused.

Let’s start with the first point:

1. Don’t annoy your readers

Do you ever think about what your Twitter followers would think of your tweets? I’m guessing many people do.

Yeah, yeah, there are many people who just spew stuff on Twitter. People will tweet hateful things without considering who is reading it. I’m not thinking about those people.

Years ago, people would tweet what they are eating for breakfast. Then everyone said, “oh please, we don’t need photos of our breakfast every day.” We kinda moved beyond that.

But you know what? I still have urges to tweet things about coffee and chocolate, so I have a separate account for my tweets about health, @mattshealth. I made that account back in 2010 when everyone complained about the non-useful tweets about food and farts.

If you have a religious belief, do you find yourself saying, “yeah, people don’t want to see me tweeting about Bible verses.” I have that concern, so I made another Twitter account @matthewmaldre for tweets about my beliefs.

People won’t want to see random Swarm checkins. All my fun checkin tweets go into @wheresspudart. (Now I do try to give a little bit of insight and photo about the place. Say something fun, so there is a hook of interest for the reader).

And so on it goes. I have 7 different active Twitter accounts:

2. Attract your readers by being focused

The idea is that people who have specific interests in certain areas can follow what they want. If you want to see my baseball tweets, follow @57hits. If you love fun baseball stat discoveries, here’s an account just for that.

In theory, that should work. Find your niche. Get followers interested in that niche. Basic marketing.

When you have too many niches

The problem arises when you have too many of these niches. You don’t have the time to promote them to get the growth.

I don’t really promote all my Twitter accounts at all. I do them for fun. I have a small audience for each one. And I accept that. By having a platform for different topics, it allows me to branch out into those topics.

Is it possible to think TOO much about your audience? Yeah, if that means holding back. When you get too concerned about what people think, you’ll hold back. Some of your creative ideas will never see the light of day. For some people, that’s a good thing. Focus in life. Find your path and be a specialized expert.

However, I love the plurality of life. I want to have that ability to be free to express ideas from all areas. So I make all these twitter accounts to capture nuggets. I don’t have the time to fully promote all these accounts to really make them grow. But that’s ok with me. Being a generalist allows me to grow in lots of areas, and to find connections among a wide range of topics.

And now for the master question:

Should a generalist have just one twitter account?

I don’t know. Sometimes I think all my tweets should just go into one place. Twitter is a quantity game, not a quality game. You need to have a large volume of tweets to get seen.

But it comes back to however you operate. My multiple accounts encourage me to produce more, so I keep them. If I went back to just one Twitter account, I guarantee you there would be less tweets from me. I’d be too concerned that general audiences doesn’t want to see tweets about new techno music I discovered.

Be free and tweet! (but also be considerate of your audience)

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