What are you doing? That is the question on all Twitter users' minds as they ponder how to use their 140 characters. If you have an account on this famous social networking website, or are planning to get one, consider avoiding a few faux pas. Proper Twitter etiquette, or what I call Twitterquette, can cause you to get, and retain followers. If you make certain mistakes, users can unfollow you just the same.
The first rule is to have a purpose for your Tweets. People join Twitter for different reasons, so it is important to establish why you joined. Whether your reason is to connect with friends and family or to network for business purposes, make it clear. There are a variety of reasons why people use Twitter. These include micro-blogging, news updates, job searching, interviewing, connecting with family and friends, announcements, promotion, charity, and more.
This brings me to the next rule, which is to have separate accounts if you have multiple purposes. Your friends and family may not care about the latest news in your industry and your business followers do not care what you had for dinner. Separate business from everything else, please.
Also, remember that it is okay to unfollow people. It isn't necessary to follow everyone that follows you. It's okay; believe me.
What Not To Do on Twitter
- Avoid Tweeting while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Just don't do it.
- Don't use @ to have a back and forth conversation with a single user. That is what Direct Messages are for.
- Do not Tweet more than four times an hour. It takes away from other users' Tweets.
- Please don't use DM to spam people. This is probably the fastest way to chase followers away or get reported for abuse.
- Don't get too personal. Sexuality and bodily functions should be kept to yourself. Young teens and elderly people use Twitter, too, so be respectful.
- Using profanity is not appropriate either.
- Following people that you don't know for no reason is creepy. Only follow users that line up with your purpose for joining Twitter.
Tips for a Healthy Twitter Following
Post useful information. Interesting quotes and links to helpful and relevant blog posts, videos, articles, and websites can attract a following. Your eating habits, the weather, and what time you go to bed may not be that useful to others. Be helpful to others. There is nothing wrong with posting links to your own content, but not all of your Tweets should be self-promotional. Be unique. You can get really creative with your 140 characters. Be yourself and do your best to make people think. Show appreciation for your followers. Send a DM to new followers and thank them for the follow. (Again, don't spam them, just say 'thanks'.)
Post often. A few times a day is necessary if you want more people to read your Tweets. Remember, there are a lot of other people Tweeting, so you have to keep up with it if you want a following.
Keep a close ratio of the number of people you are following to the number of people following you. Spammers will sometimes follow a lot of Twitters but not many will follow them. Enjoy Twitter and be polite. I'll see you there.