Five ways to boast discreetly on Twitter

by Tom Albrighton 16 April 2010 Digital and social

Feeling pleased with yourself? Want to tell someone? Well, Twitter always listens. But shameless self-promotion might not endear you to your followers. So use these five proven techniques to burnish your rep without burning your bridges.

  • Creeting. Creeting, or ‘creepy tweeting’, means retweeting a high-profile Twitterer so you can bask in their reflected glory. So what if you didn’t really understand (or even read) that abstruse piece on A/B testing, canonical URLs or Facebook user profiling? Retweet it anyway, you’ll look incredibly clever and might get a mention from someone with 100,000 followers.
  • Busyness. Want to show how indispensable you are, or how many clients you’ve got? Simply disguise your boast as a moan about workload, information overwhelm or client pressure. Don’t worry, everyone will get the message: only the talented are as busy as this.
  • Proxy boasting. Sometimes others say the things we think, but can never say. So if your offspring, colleague or client has paid you a glowing but perceptive compliment, get it on Twitter. It’s reputational gold and, after all, you’re only quoting.
  • Egocentic gratitude. If you’ve been RTd or #FFd by multiple Tweeters, make sure you thank them all in one monster tweet. It makes you look incredibly popular and, if you’re thanking RTers, you’ll probably drum up extra interest in your past Tweets. (And yes, I do this all the time.)
  • Reflected enthusiasm. No-one really needs to know that you’re loving Alain de Botton’s latest whimsical fluff, or how much your guests adored your summer berry sabayon. But cultured interests make you look fantastic, so Tweet away. Your all-night Steven Seagal marathon, fuelled by Stella and Wotsits*, you can keep quiet about.

* US/Canada readers, please substitute ‘Coors and Cheetos’

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