The characteristics of great Twitter accounts

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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So you want to wheel your CEO, head honcho or slightly famous person or celebrity out to represent your company and brand.  It’s not as easy as just setting up the account and letting it all happen. Or is it?

Twitter is an interesting animal and it’s my belief that you can’t teach people to ‘get it’.  They either do or they don’t, and they’re either interested in its potential as a communication/engagement tool or they’re on some other planet.

The characteristics of great twitter accounts which work are shown by the following traits.  You can either cut the mustard or you’re there with no mates.  There is no in-between. So what are the key characteristics?


It represents the person accurately even if some of the time it is administered by a team and only sometimes used by the person it’s named after. There is no room for fairy floss, brain-numbing marketing speak here.  Keep it real or try a whitepaper instead.

Talking the talk

Not only is the account a great source of information on its promised topics but its engaging and acknowledges its place as part of the bigger Twitter community.


In a nutshell, they are using the medium fairly often and are part of the wider conversation.

Likes a chat

It’s the equivalent of the  social media cup of coffee. Often the successful accounts will engage with a general chat or retweet with the everyday person on the street.  Yes, it happens. It makes the difference between just being on Twitter and being part of Twitter.

Still being Human

If it’s an individual’s twitter account then it should be just that – individual.  Bringing a touch of humanity to the world through our communication can make all the difference as to whether your message has any chance of cut-through.


People use the internet to seek, find out, explore and learn.  And we all love to have a guru, a mentor or something straight from the horse’s mouth.

Here’s some of my picks which fulfil the criteria.

Dr Karl

Bio – Dr Karl Kruszelnicki ~ an answer looking for a question. Dr Karl brings science to radio Thursdays on Triplej (1100-1200), and on BBC Radio 5 Live (0300-0400), Australia ·

Why he’s great?

Answering questions for all and sundry and making science something interesting. He speaks to you directly and there is nothing off limits.

Dr Karl

Barak Obama

Bio – This account is run by Organizing for Action staff. Tweets from the President are signed -bo. Washington, DC ·

Why it’s great?

Besides the fact that this account had the most retweets – ever – out retweeting even Justin Bieber, it brings together the honesty about the top job, the issues, the hard line and the humanity.


Rebel Wilson

Bio – Actress / Writer / Producer / Rebel, Los Angeles

Why she’s great?

She’s herself, not trying to hard and completely aligned to her own brand. Mostly, she’s using her own material rather than rehashing what 1000’s of other comedians are doing on twitter.

 Rebel Wilson


Bio – PR girl for Oscar de la Renta reporting from inside one of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses. New York, NY ·

Why she’s great?

She has the ideal job, she’s beautiful, she communicates the brand and she travels the world.  She is Oscar de Larenta.  And she uses twitter effectively to highlight the brand and promotes the product on Instagram. Micro-blogging meets pictorial.


insta oscar PR

And my personal favourite Jon Pigeon

Bio – My Name’s Jon and I’m a fucking pigeon. Avoiding Traffic

Why it’s great?

Because it is always on message, engaging, an expert within its field and it’s hilarious. Who has this much time? We don’t know but we wish some corporate would be this dedicated to their twitter account.

jon pigeon


Author – Libby Fordham @libbyfordham





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