How do we use the .NET Reflector twitter account (@dotnetreflector)?

This post is inspired by Guy Kawasaki’s “How I Tweet” post, both in terms of its content and in terms of our approach to tweeting. His post reads almost like a twitter marketing “how to” in some ways so, frankly, Yah! Boo sucks! to all you expensive twitter marketing “experts”. and kudos to Guy for posting up the information.

Most important point first. You can follow .NET Reflector at http://twitter.com/dotnetreflector. And now a quick Q&A.

How do we/will we use this account, and what information will we post?

The dotnetrefletor account is primarily a low volume account for communicating announcements about .NET Reflector. For example, we might use it to post information about new early access/beta programmes, releases, and suchlike. We obviously don’t make these kinds of announcements all the time but, when we do, you may see three or four duplicate tweets over a 24 hour period. We do this because our followers are spread around the world in different timezones and we want to maximise the opportunity for them to see this information. We plan to use twuffer for this.

We also use it to communicate directly with individual customers. So, for example, if somebody makes a comment about .NET Reflector on twitter we might either retweet or reply to them. We don’t always do this but if somebody posts up a useful article, or says something particularly positive and glowing (obviously), we’ll retweet and send them a message to say thanks. If somebody’s had a problem or has some feedback/criticism we’ll send them a reply and try to help if we can.

These people don’t have to be followers. We just have an RSS feed set up on a twitter search so we can see whenever anyone posts anything about .NET Reflector. My actual search query string at the moment is:

.net reflector -from:NorwalkJobs_ -“Daily Reflector” -“mms://”

This filters out most, but not all, of the cruft from particularly chatty sources not related to .NET Reflector. Try removing the filters from the query to see the difference it makes. If you want to find out more about twitter search operators take a look at this.

If you send a tweet to @dotnetreflector you should always expect to get a response, unless you’re blatantly abusive, in which case we might tactfully ignore you. If it’s over a weekend you might not hear back from us until Monday.

If we spot some interesting content, like an article, review, or “how to” that hasn’t been tweeted already, we might also tweet that, but we’ll try to keep the volume of these low. Certainly no more than one a day, and most of the time much less.

What won’t we post?

This account isn’t a general marketing channel for Red Gate so you won’t see us posting information about other products, or Red Gate in general, unless there’s a direct and specific link to .NET Reflector. For example, we might promote another product with a tweet if it incorporated technology from .NET Reflector as part of some new functionality, but we’re not going to start plugging SQL tools in general.

You also won’t see general chit chat or “personal” stuff on this account. We want to keep it focussed and reasonably low volume because we know full well you’re probably already buried in an avalanche of unbelievably banal tweets, and we don’t want to add to the problem.

Who tweets using this account?

At the moment it’s mainly my partner in crime, Greg Tillman, and myself. Laila Lotfi might also tweet from time to time.