The Dos and Don’ts of Twitter

Once you understand the basic concepts of Twitter and begin to get your feet wet in the “Twittosphere,” your unique online personality will develop.  The beauty of Twitter is that your network is what you make of it.  What you tweet about and how you tweet will determine who follows you.  And your own personal interests will determine who you follow.  While you build your community, there are a few etiquette (or “twittiquette”) tips to keep in mind:

Do:

  • Tweet a lot. The more tweets you send, the more followers and the more interactions you will have.
  • Re-read your tweets to catch typos.
  • Use a recent personal picture, rather than an avatar or image that isn’t you.
  • Pay attention when someone mentions you or replies to one of your tweets so you can continue in the conversation when possible.
  • Pay attention to the conversation. When someone replies to your tweet, you only see the reply, not your original tweet. If you are not sure what the reply is about, you can click the conversation box in Twitter to see the previous message(s). Take a second to check on this before replying to the person with a confused message or ignoring the reply completely.

Don’t:

  • Directly ask someone to follow you. Feel free to share your twitter handle with people, but don’t make them feel guilty if they choose not to follow you. It is up to them to follow you if what you tweet about interests them. If not, focus your energy on gaining followers who ARE interested.
  • Only talk about yourself or your company. Twitter is about connection. In real life, when connecting with people, you may talk about various topics including (but not limited) to yourself and your company. Interact with your Twitter community in the same manner.
  • Retweet more than you tweet original content. Too many retweets will cause people to tune you out (or stop following you completely). Offer some original thoughts and comments.
  • Posts only links. Give people a reason to want to click on the link if it is something you think will interest them, otherwise they will just ignore it.
  • Ask someone why they stopped following you. If someone you know stops following you, consider what might have been the reason (were you practicing any of the above no-no’s?), but don’t confront them about it. In the end, it is all a personal choice and we all follow people who interest us for whatever reason.
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About Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht works in publishing and book marketing. As an avid reader and blogger, Kelly posts book reviews at Read & Tell Reviews (www.readandtellreviews.blogspot.com) and writes about book marketing and social media here.
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