Twitter Etiquette. Mind your manners!

twitter-follow-achiever Apparently, the only constant thing in this world is change. Also social trends change along with the customs and we need to get used to completely different etiquette rules to survive in the jungle of social media. Like with any other form of communication people get to like us or we simply annoy them. When using social networks we may also offend people and put them off for not following some basic rules of polite behavior. Below I’m presenting the list of practical tips on how to use Twitter in a way that we avoid irritating our potential valuable followers. I hope this list will make things easier for all of us.
  1. Twitter is a conversation tool, not a spamming tool.

    So don’t spam, don’t be too pushy, ask questions, listen to what others say and engage in discussions. Be actually interested in how others are doing and what has changed in their lives.You are more interesting for people by being interested in them.
  2. Quality is more important than quantity.

    Tweet valuable things (links to good articles, blog posts, but always check if the links are right) and actively contribute to your community. You won’t get more followers by tweeting stupid messages 15 times during the day. Messages like  “I’ve just had lunch” don’t add much value to the Twitter world.
  3. Private, 1 to 1 focused conversations should go via direct messages.

    Don’t spam people with the conversation with your wife on what to make for dinner. These updates are completely irrelevant for the community.
  4. If in 1 tweet you are going to use more than two @replies it should also be moved to a direct message.

    If I’m not involved in this conversation I don’t want to be spammed with your private matters.
  5. Tweet not more often than once every 15 min unless you reply to another twitter user.

    In general, all those people who are alerted via text message get annoyed with constant twitters from the same person. It can also be quite expensive to those that get message in a  text message. Maintain a proper balance in the amount of tweets and try not to tweet more than 15 times during one  day unless it’s really something breakthrough.twitter-funny
  6. Don’t post the same thing to different services.

    Nobody wants to receive the same message multiple times only because they follow you on multiple services. Again, it’s all about the feeling of being spammed in a pushy way.
  7. Don’t sent auto reply messages through direct messages.

    It looks like talking to a bot not a human.
  8. Twitter is a public zone and everybody can hear you.

    Be careful what you click because once you post the message on Twitter or other social networks it will stick with you forever. Take full responsibility for what you are posting.  So don’t publish anything which you don’t want your mother to read 🙂
  9. The same rules of politeness apply.

    Like with any normal conversation people can easily sense your spite, passive-aggressiveness and sneer. It’s not that hard to figure this out. Try to say thank for re-twitting your messages and for responding to your questions.
  10. When somebody follows you it’s polite to follow them back.

    But try not to add too many people at one time as it looks like you are making a hype around to promote yourself. It’s acceptable not to follow somebody back and there might be a variety of reasons for this. It doesn’t instantly mean “I don’t like you”. Don’t feel guilty.
  11. Don’t feel too committed.

    Not every Direct Message requires your response especially when it’s a complete stranger. You are not obliged to respond to each and every @mention or read every tweet. Obviously, there are services such as TweetDeck or Seesmic that help you keep track of what is happening  in a Twitter stream. But be careful since the power here lies in the interaction and if you are too passive you will lose followers. Similarly, if you decide to unfollow a person you don’t need to send the notification or a break up note unless this is a serious Twitter relationship 🙂
  12. Don’t go overboard with self-promotion.

    If you don’t contribute any valuable content except for links to your products, deals, new blog posts, events and requests to vote for you on various portals you will soon be forgotten. If you want to come across as credible and community-minded remember to promote others as well and don’t be so self-centered. The only exception is when you set up an account named after your product or service, which provokes different expectations among followers. Still it’s highly possible you will not achieve the desired results since not every business can thrive on social media.
  13. Use an avatar picture and include a short bio in the profile.

    It shows you’re  a human being. People like to see who they’re talking to.lastjudgment
  14. Use proper grammar and punctuation.

    It helps understand what you mean . Don’t overuse abbreviations such as 4U etc. They may shorten the message but also sound very childish. To save space stick to contractions whenever possible: are not= aren’t and use numerals not words for numbers.
  15. Don’t steal tweets.

    If you retweet a message always include the original source e.g RT@annajones. If this is a retweet of RT already you can skip the secondary source but still mention the original author.

If you treat Twitter communication seriously and want get the best out of it try to stick to the above rules especially if this is a company account and part of your marketing and branding strategy. Twitter proved to be very useful but only for those who know how to handle it in a proper manner. What are your golden rules of Twitter usage? Share your comments below or follow us on @GOYELLO.