Sen. @ChuckGrassley: Best (Worst) Twitter Account Ever

sen chuck grassleyFolks, if you’re new to Twitter and this whole “social media marketing” thing, I’ve got some good news for you. As it turns out, most of what you’ve been told about Twitter is just plain wrong. In fact, you might be over-qualified for Twitter success and you didn’t even know it.

Let’s row down the ol’ Twitter stream with @ChuckGrassley, U.S. Senator from Iowa and one of the finest Tweeters west of the Mississippi River. (TIME Magazine agrees.) Be careful not to let Senator Grassley’s Twitter prowess intimidate you. After all, this man has 2,580 tweets and counting; he’s no newcomer to the game.

Twitter Is No Place for Grammar or Vocabulary

Look, Twitter’s not the place to show off the fact that you understand subject-verb agreement or even that you know the difference between there/their/they’re. If you want to have a successful Twitter account, your grammar should be atrocious. In this tweet, for example, Grassley completely eschews the very notion of the sentence:

Senator Grassley’s linguistic finesse demonstrates an understanding that’s beyond the average layman’s grasp. For average Joe’s like us, it’s best to start with plain-old-bad grammar before moving into the murkier post-structuralist waters of freeform anti-sentence structure.

Chuck Grassleys aren’t built in a day, after all.

Meaning Should Never Be Clear & Direct

In studying Senator Grassley’s tweets, I couldn’t help but notice that his meaning is never clear. Senator Grassley understands that obfuscation is the most essential part of any tweet. He has so finely mastered the art of obfuscation that sometimes even he doesn’t seem to know what his tweets mean:

If you’re new to Twitter, never – I cannot emphasize this enough – never write anything that’s meaningful or direct. Your followers will take great pleasure in picking apart your enigmatic messages. Take this oracular Grassley tweet (and the response it elicits) as a prime example:

Use All 140 Characters – Every Time

Now, I know that conventional Twitter wisdom says the ideal Tweet is 103 characters or less. Well, that’s just fine if you want to be mediocre. But if you want to enjoy the social media marketing success that rocks Senator Grassley to sleep every night, then you need to use every single one of those 140 characters in your tweets. Why would Twitter allow 140 characters if they didn’t intend for you to use them?! This is common sense, people.

Great work, Senator Grassley! In the above tweet, Grassley effectively utilizes all 140 characters that Twitter allows. Note how he’s willing to join proper nouns (‘MargaretThatcher’ and ‘GreatBritain’) and forgo spaces entirely as he approaches the end of the Tweet (‘&gaveMORALleadership’).

(As a side note, this is as good a time as ever to point out the fact that you should never edit a tweet. Edits are only acceptable if your initial stream of consciousness flows past 140 characters.)

Perhaps the only thing that could have made this tweet better would have been eliminating one of the L’s in “MORALleadership.” After all, when a word both ends and begins with an ‘L’, using it twice strikes me as a bit redundant. Then again, I don’t have 67k Twitter followers, so who am I to say?

What impresses you about Senator Grassley’s Twitter account? Any social media marketing lessons that jump out at you?


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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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