Welcome to the second installment of my Twitter for N00bs series. You can find the intro post here.
So after you’ve set up your account and started checking out the scene, now you can pay a bit more attention to how you’re doing this.
- Twitter as IM: Do not use Twitter as an instant messaging service. That is what direct messaging (DM) is for. The rest of us don’t care about what you and your house mates are organising for dinner, BUT if you are making a public point of questioning someone in order to incite action (much like you would at a forum or press conference I guess) then go ahead, embarrass the company or body into responding. Also see Oprah’s web 1.0 mistake of using the caps lock… LOL at “feeling really 21st century!”
- Multi-in-One @Replies: If you want to reply to a few tweeps at once, you can! Instead of tweeting “@bob Yes! I agree!” and then “@lucy But it was delicious pasta” you could easily fit both into one tweet. And both of these could even just be DMs.
- Link Love: Sure, link to your blog (once a day at most if you’re sharing new, helpful content) but never demand people look at your site/blog/band/company/ebook/anything. Do this repeatedly without any other use of Twitter? Then you are a spammer and deserve to die a horridly painful death according to many tweeps.
- Be Honest: If you’re tweeting from a company or association account, be upfront about why you’re using Twitter. You can bet on your mother’s old bedsocks that people will despise you should you appear a spam account while claiming in your one-line-bio to be all about interaction. Accounts like that are hilarious in my books because they just don’t understand Twitter. They should be reading this blog.
- Follow-Refollowing: You’ll get attention by doing the ol’ follow-unfollow-follow-unfollow, but it most likely will not be positive. It announces to others “please follow me, my existance on Twitter depends on gaining your affections!” Kinda needy.
- Automated Connections: Automatic direct messages are probably one of the top ways to get a quick unfollow and bad rap from the community. It is nice to automatically thank people for following you, but try just doing it yourself? You’ll avoid being tempted to include a link to your site and if they unfollow and follow you back again… they’ll get the same DM and realise pretty quickly how insincere you are.
- Multi-Social Network Platforms: People who copy their tweets to Facebook updates annoy me, but I’m now able to hide the Selective Twitter application there. It’s up to you whether or not you decide to do this I think.
- Be Cool, Bro: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. This is a rarity online as many feel they shall never meet the person they are arguing with (debates on the Internet; hurrah!) and many feel that they do not need the world to agree with them. It’s great that you feel that confident about your stance, but you may still be offending people which is never cool.
- Spell Check: Correct spelling and grammatical mistakes via DM. Unless you’re really, really annoyed and believe they should definitely know better. Which isn’t exactly being nice, but at least they’ll learn, right?
- The Billboard Theory: Lastly, abide by that faithful social media saying that you should not put anything out onto the Internet that you would not like a billboard made out of or say to your grandmother. I’m not a fan of this saying really because otherwise I would not be able to discuss many, many topics out of the fact that I’d be explaining things right down to “What is a computer?” over corned beef.
This is just my quick list as there are so, so many articles on playing it nice on Twitter and I myself could rant on for hours about using Twitter politely. Got any other Twitter mannerisms you’d like to add? Tomorrow’s topic? How to be useful to the Twittersphere.