How (And Why) You Should Move A Conversation Off Twitter

It might sound funny coming from a blog that focuses on Twitter all day, every day, but there are things that Twitter isn’t the greatest at. We admit it. Twitter isn’t the be-all-end-all social tool – it’s an amazing one for networking, learning, branding and much more, but it’s not great for absolutelyeverything.

Sometimes I’ve found myself in deep conversations with people on Twitter and I’ve felt restricted by the 140 character limit. I didn’t want to flood those followers who bother to check out my actual profile with a series of @mentions to the same person, nor could I fully express myself without breaking each thought into 5 or more tweets. So I moved the conversation off of Twitter – and here’s how you can do it, too.

There are several reasons why you might not want to have a full conversation with someone on Twitter. Here are a few that will probably resonate with you:

  • Your opinions are getting too heated for public display
  • You can’t express yourself fully in 140 (or even 280 or 420 characters)
  • You want to exchange personal information, like a phone number or address
  • The topic of conversation has little or nothing to do with the brand you’ve built on Twitter
  • You feel you’re sending too many messages to the same person at one time
  • The conversation requires more thought and research than you can give it in real-time

For any of these reasons, you’ve decided you can’t continue your conversation on Twitter.

So how do you do it?

The easiest way is to ask your conversation partner(s) if you can send them a direct message. If the conversation has already attracted the attention of other users, send out a tweet explaining that you will be continuing away from Twitter.

You can then send a DM that includes your idea to move the conversation, along with your email address, phone number, Skype name, etc. This way, your information remains private and only a single user will be able to send you that email or ping you on Skype.

Sending a DM to someone requires that you’re both following each other, so be sure to follow that user and request that they follow you, if they aren’t already. In this case, asking for a follow is not a silly or annoying request, as you want to use that follow to send them a private message (which you should explain in the tweet asking them to follow you).

You could also go ahead and contact that person off of Twitter without initiating the move on Twitter first. If they have a website attached to their Twitter account, they might have a contact form or an email address on their site. Or you could do a little Googling and find them on LinkedIn or Facebook. If you choose this route, be sure that they’ll actually want to hear from you off Twitter, or you could be in for a bit of an embarrassment.

(Communication image via Shutterstock)