Twitter Do’s and Twitter Don’ts is a bit off topic from mobile marketing (what I usually write about here) but there are a lot of folks in mobile using Twitter and folks I wish who knew more about mobile using Twitter – so, this post is for you.
Tweet what you want about whatever topics you want. It is up to your Followers to decide whether or not they want to join in. If you have a multifaceted life (like we all do) it is OK to tweet both personal and work related topics. I would suggest finding a balance if you are using Twitter for professional reasons or you might drive away work-minded followers. But don’t be afraid to share some of yourself too.
Think before you hit Update.
Even if you are being yourself, sometimes it is best to remember that every tweet you send will be there forever, on it’s own webpage and in the minds instantly of all who follow you. If you are feeling emotional, angry or confrontational and aren’t 100% certain that you won’t regret your statement maybe just let it sit for a few minutes before you hit send. Imagine your grandma, your children, your boss, your pastor (or other religious figure) reading your Tweet. If you’re OK with that, hit Update.
Use @ liberally.
It is very easy to strike up a conversation with someone in Twitter. Do it. It’s fun and can be rewarding. These are people with whom you really wouldn’t have a chance to connect with any other way. Whether it is someone who lives in your local area who you wouldn’t have gotten to know or whether it is a high-powered person in your industry, you can talk with people here.
Follow the number of people you want.
You don’t have to follow everyone back who follows you. Certainly not the bots or the spammers, but even real people. Maybe someone tweets about something all the time that is simply not of interest to you or maybe contrary to what you believe. Just don’t follow them and don’t feel guilty about it. They chose to follow you. Also, it is OK to give yourself a limit of how many people you want to follow. (Just see the Don’t below about bragging about how many follow you.)
Check in at different times of the day.
Twitter is world wide and it is fun to see people across the globe waking up when you’re hitting the hay for the night. Or discovering that your favorite blogger is awake and twittering to few folks and can @ you back in a minute.
If you need a resource or want input on something, go ahead and ask. You may or may not get a bunch of answers, but it is always a great idea to ask.
Say what you’re eating (if you want).
A lot of people say that this is a don’t. I personally like to know when someone is making a delicious dinner and shares the recipe. Or says what they are eating when they are out on the town. Not that I want to have something like this every day, I think it is a part of life and fun. Also, I’ve gotten some great ideas for dishes to make this way. If folks don’t want to know what you’re eating they can either ignore the occasional food related tweet or unfollow. No biggie either way.
Only use Twitter for your new blog updates.
It’s not that it is completely wrong to do this, but it means you miss out on the real power of Twitter – conversations and meeting people. Plus, you will not attract many followers with this technique and thus will defeat your purpose in sending out your blog post links anyway.
Don’t brag about how many people follow you but follow very few people yourself.
Counting Twitter followers is not the same as counting blog readers. These are different tools. A blog is a method for disseminating your information and if people want to comment they have the opportunity. A blog is like a newspaper, people read it and can send a letter to the editor if they want. Twitter is a conversation tool. It is like a cocktail party or networking event. You don’t walk around a cocktail party and only speak to people, but not listen.
Frankly, I’m surprised at how many people follow the A-Listers who do this yet think nothing of not following an unknown person who does it. I say don’t feed the ego of anyone who does this. Especially when there are A-Listers who DO follow and converse with lots of people.
Ask people why they unfollowed you.
Using the same analogy as the networking event, it would be like walking after someone when they said, “Well, its been nice meeting you,” and asking them why they ended the conversation. It is OK if someone stops following you. You won’t please everyone who follows you, so let it go. Also, sometimes people just realize they have joined the wrong conversation and move on. It is OK.
Monopolize a conversation.
If you tweet a bunch of times (more than 3)in a row just seconds/minutes apart about a single subject you should write a blog post instead and link to it with one tweet.
Ask for a Digg/Sphinn/Stumble for every single post.
There are folks I follow who ask for a Digg or suggest they be Stumbled occasionally. These folks get my love more often than those who ask for it all the time. Save your requests for the posts that really merit it.
What are YOUR Twitter Do’s and Twitter Don’ts?
BTW, if you want to follow me on Twitter, here I am.