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What Pancakes Taught Me About Twitter Etiquette

Yes, you read that title correctly. This is a blog post about how pancakes are relevant to Twitter.

It started because I wrote a guest post for SmartBoyDesigns and used the title of this blog as a humorous example. And then I thought, “You know, that really is an article I would read.” But instead of waiting around for someone else to poke fun at it, I decided to write it myself.

While on the surface level, this delicious breakfast food and popular social network have absolutely nothing in common, it turns out there are a few Twitter tips that we can pick out from the almighty flapjack.

fresh pancake griddle

Mmm, nothing beats a fresh pancake.

Pancakes are better when fresh. A little obvious, but significant. Nobody is interested in something that’s been lying around for hours.

Equally, nobody is interested in a Twitter account that sits dormant most of the time. If you’re only logging in to your Twitter account once or twice a month, or using it just to promote your brand new blog post, you’ve gone stale.

Pancakes are best eaten in moderation. There is a sad reality behind “too much of a good thing,” and it does apply to the amount of pancakes one can consume.

The same applies to your tweets. While it is good to have an active account with frequent tweets, you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with too many updates. A good standard to shoot for is about 5-10 tweets per day. You want your presence to be known, but not to the point of oversaturation.

Pancakes are most efficient when stacked. Even if you like to eat pancakes one by one (like myself), there’s also something wonderful about front-loading your work and then sitting back to enjoy the spoils of your labor.

Tweets work similarly. Instead of finding a bunch of articles and returning to them at different points during waking hours, do all of your reading in the morning and schedule your tweets to roll out over the course of the day. My personal favorite is Buffer, but other services like HootSuite and TweetDeck also work well.

Pancakes taste better with additional content. Whether you prefer pancakes dotted with M&Ms or blueberries, or next to a delicious side of bacon, there’s no question that an added flavor makes them more delicious.

Adding links to a tweet is not only necessary for spreading your content, but it breaks up the plain text and shows your followers that you have something valuable to add to their Twitter feed. Links show up in a different color than the rest of the tweet, which will draw the attention of your followers.

syrup and pancakes

Stop naked pancakes. Buy syrup today.

Pancakes reach their optimum appeal when sweetened. A pancake is not worth eating until you lather it in butter and drench it in syrup. An extra bit of sweetness goes a long way.

For followers to pay attention to your tweets or to click on the links, you need to sweeten the deal. If you are retweeting content, mention the author or source. Add a little commentary to show your followers that you’ve read or watched the content, and it truly is something of value.

And there you have it: Twitter lessons straight from pancakes. Practicing these simple tips and tricks will help you improve the quality of your tweets and increase your followers. They can also be applied to make some mighty tasty hotcakes.

Did you have your doubts that I could relate Twitter to pancakes? Anything else we can learn about social media etiquette from breakfast food?



Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on

Comments

  1. david k waltz

    Mandy,

    Excellent tips! I ran across buffer app about a week ago and have found myself adopting much of what you mentioned in this post, so this is great validation! Thanks!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thanks, David! And thanks for stopping by!

      I’m glad that you’re finding validation with my tips! And isn’t Buffer wonderful? At first, I thought that it really won’t be valuable for my Twitter account since mine is more personal and less professional, but I’m happy to say that I’ve been proven wrong.

      I actually interviewed one of the co-founders of Buffer, so look for that blog post soon! :)

  2. tami

    Great article Mandy!! I would have never seen the connection between pancakes and Twitter, but you sure proved me wrong! I am one of those Twitter folk that has let their account go stale.. but you may have just brought new life into it. :)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thanks, Tami! And thanks for commenting!

      When I pitched the idea for this post at our weekly blog meeting, I was met with an array of confused looks. I’m glad that I was able to make pancake relevant! I didn’t even know that you had Twitter! If you do bring it back to life, let me know so I can follow you!

  3. Alex Brodsky

    I completely agree with your statement “Pancakes are better fresh.”

    I’m not big into breakfast in general, but I hardly ever go out to get it. This is simply because I never finish meals, but pancakes/breakfast food is awful when it’s reheated.

    As far as the connection to Twitter goes, I can honestly say that I have yet to give in to the fad of Twitter and start an account myself, but through the few twitter accounts I check out from time to time, I can definitely see how keeping it fresh maintains interest.

    When you pitched this idea, I had no idea how your connections would work, but you pulled it off! Good work!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      You’re absolutely right. Breakfast food is scary when reheated. You might be able to get away with hash browns, but none of the core meals.

      It took me a long time to get on Twitter (I kept insisting that I had no use for it), but I’m quite a big fan of it now.

      And thanks! :)

  4. JPorretto

    Are there any tips related to how my pancakes seem to be syrup black holes? I just keep pouring copious amounts of it on, but two bites later it’s all soaked in. WHERE DOES IT GO?!?!?!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      It the pores inside the pancake open to another dimension. As you pour the syrup in, it’s transported to another universe. Within the universe is a civilization whose currency is syrup.

      So there you go. :)

      • Jenna Markowski

        “LIKE.”

      • JPorretto

        Wow that was spectacular…

        I KNEW IT!

        • Eric

          When all else fails?

          MORE SYRUP.

          This is much easier when you’re at, say, IHOP, and you’ve got four carafes of it at your disposal. However, if you’re at the usual breakfast cafe, and you only get that one little ramekin…you’re “gonna need a bigger boat,” as the guy from “Jaws” would put it.

          Smart post, Mandy. Pancake thematics? Always welcome.

          • Mandy Kilinskis

            Thanks, Eric! My parents always have to order extra syrup – I’m a little more conservative with my syrup efforts. But I can understand the appeal of wanting to soak it in the sweet goodness. :)

  5. Rachel

    Mmm, pancakes. I am now better informed about how to make my Twitter feed more interesting for my followers, AND I’m hungry for breakfast food. Maybe some pancakes covered in strawberry preserves …. yum!

    Seriously though, great job connecting these two seemingly unrelated topics. Maybe there’s a whole breakfast food/social media series here, hah! Facebook and eggs? Google+ and cereal? Tumblr and cinnamon buns? The possibilities are endless … :P

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Maybe some pancakes with butter and syrup instead. ;)

      But thanks! I’m sure that there could be a whole series pulled out this combination, but it would take a lot of brainstorming to think of how to relate these together. Though Tumblr and cinnamon buns seems really appropriate…and now I want cinnamon rolls. :(

  6. amy

    This was such a great post, Mandy! Not only am I now starving for pancakes (breakfast for dinner, yes please!) but your tips are right on too. I loved your tip on moderation the best, mainly because I fail to do that when eating pancakes, but also because I hate accounts where they tweet every half hour. By the time I check my feed I may have 30 new tweets from them, but rarely any new content. Ugh, so frustrating!!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Yes, that is the worst! That’s basically the number one reason why I will stop following someone. It’s overwhelming if you tweet a lot, especially if you aren’t providing anything new to my feed! Moderation is key!

  7. Jenna Markowski

    Mandy, I do not like breakfast food that much, but somehow you always manage to write about breakfast food that makes me have an insatiable craving for breakfast!

    I never doubted that you could pull this association off, and I hope to see you relate two other seemingly unrelated things to each other sometime in the near future. The tip that you mentioned that I need to work on the most is keeping my content fresh. As I am always busy and/or lazy, so consistent updating of my Twitter feed is difficult to maintain. Perhaps I need to invest some time into something like Buffer or Tweetdeck!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Haha, I promise that I’m not doing it on purpose. I enjoy breakfast food, but I don’t mean to throw the office into a pancake rage!

      Thanks for not doubting me! I’m feeling very tempted to pick two completely random things and relate them to each other. Flowers and Facebook? Facial tissues and marketing? I guess we’ll see…

      I haven’t done much with scheduling tweets on Tweetdeck, but the social media power user consensus is generally that Buffer is a little more user friendly. Food for thought if you look into it!

  8. Tim Nekritz

    Well said. And it’s also funny that I’m part of a group that developed monthly #pancaketweetup gatherings on Twitter and other social media where we all get together for virtual breakfast and fellowship. (Our group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=104570340070) So pancakes and social media just naturally do go together!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Hooray! That’s really cool that you guys have that group! I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought so! I hope that your next #pancaketweetup is fantastic (and delicious!)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Tim!

  9. Kyle

    I still haven’t taken the plunge into the Twitterverse… But for some odd reason I have a sudden urge to devour a fat stack of buttery pancakes drenched in syrup…

    Funny how that works. :P

    I have to admit for a second that I doubted the relevancy of pancakes to Twitter, but leave it to this tasty read (pun intended) to prove me wrong.

    Great stuff, Mandy!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Well, if you happen to be inspired to join Twitter while you eat that giant stack of pancakes, you’ll have some basic tips for being a Twitter superstar! :)

      Glad that I was able to reverse the doubt! :)

  10. Candice J.

    Great post Mandy! I do have to admit my twitter account has def. gone stale but between all the diff. social media outlets these days you’re bound to forget one of them. Also your post has made me incredibly hungry for breakfast, so much so i think i’m going to have it for dinner! I love comparing anything to delicious food!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      It’s true – it’s practically a full-time job to stay up-to-date and active all the different social networks. If you don’t have the desire, will, or interest to do that, then just pick one or two that you enjoy. (For businesses, try and see which ones reach more of your potential customers.) I, for example, I have a Tumblr, but I haven’t posted a single thing on it. Whoops.

      Anyway, enjoy your breakfast for dinner tonight!

  11. Jen

    I love this post Mandy! I have a “stale, moldy, topping-less” Twitter account floating around somewhere on the internet. I created it thinking “Hey, I have relevant and funny things to say, maybe I should get a twitter account…” So I created it and never logged onto it again. It’s quite sad how lazy I am. If someday I decide to use it again however, I will totally be using your tips from this blog.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Well, at least you don’t ask people why you don’t have a bunch of Twitter followers! I’ve seen a lot of accounts that are like, “Why don’t people follow me?!?!?!” when they only tweet once a month and it’s usually about the apple they ate for lunch.

      Good luck if you revive it! :)

  12. Alexandra Uth

    I’m responsible for the company Twitter account. My new resolution for 2012? Make better “pancakes” for the company! Thanks for the great post! :-)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Hi, Alexandra! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      I’m glad that you found the post useful to you for your company’s Twitter account! Good luck and keep on cooking those pancakes! :D

  13. Jill Tooley

    What a creative and informative blog, Mandy! I loved it. After you referred me to Buffer and I actually started caring about my tweets, the reasoning behind such a strategy became more clear. It’s not the same as straight-up AUTOMATING your tweets (that would be terrible) but it allows you to share the content you want to share throughout the day without having to compulsively check Twitter every hour. Who has time to do that? Tweet stacking is such a positive thing (just like pancakes).

    I’m impressed (although not surprised) that you were able to link these two topics together and form a stellar blog! Good stuff. :)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thanks, Jill!

      I used to not care so much about the structure of my tweets, but after reading a few blogs about the pros of schedule tweets, I tried it out. It makes a lot more sense to space things out throughout the day. If I tweeted everything exactly when I found it, I’d tweet like 6 articles between 8 and 8:40, and then have almost nothing else to say during the rest of the day – not great if you want to grow a network and/or following.

  14. Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech

    Brilliant! I agree with every point you made. I also like Buffer and find I use it often. It helps me to keep my Twitter stream fresh with content.

    One I might add is “warm”. Everyone likes their pancakes warm. Your tweets should be warm too. Engage with others and be warm and inviting on Twitter, just as you would on other social media.

    (You should think about adding a Buffer button to your blog!)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thank you, Carolyn! And thanks for stopping by!

      I love your additional tip for pancakes and tweets! It makes a huge difference when you feel invited – it increases engagement, relationships, and eventually, conversions. :)

      (And we’re working on adding the Buffer button to our blog. We’re just playing around with the mechanics of our social share buttons. It will, at the very least, be included in the “share” button soon!)

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