Twitter encourages people to “join the conversation.” It is certainly very useful for business. Unfortunately, as Twitter becomes more popular, it comes with people who don’t really know how to use it. As a freelancer, one of the things you should be focused on is building your personal brand. You want people to like what you do. I’ve scoured the web in search of what the majority of complaints are about the way people misuse Twitter and proper Twitter Etiquette, and have compiled this list for you.
1. Give credit where credit is due
If you see someone tweet something informative, clever or useful, don’t just copy and paste it so everyone thinks you thought of it.
2. Don’t use automated systems
Have you ever followed someone just to immediately get DM’d a canned, unsolicited response like “Thank you for following me. Check out my other accounts…”? It’s quite annoying. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for productivity. If you can make your job easier, do it – but isn’t the whole point of social media to be…social? My advise is to keep your Twitter stream personal. Take a look at the unfortunate disaster this tweeter encountered:
There were more posts, but you get the point.
3. Space out your tweets
You want to have random tweets throughout the day. You’ll gather more followers and won’t annoy your current ones. Consider using a “scheduling” feature, like the one that’s built into Hootsuite or Twuffer.
4. Make use of CamelCase with hashtags, and keep them short.
Remember, as a web developer, you should constantly be asking yourself how you can improve a user’s experience. Eliminating strain to people’s eyes should be a top priority. Which is easier to read? #figurethatoneout or #FigureThatOneOut? #yourwordsnotmine #YourWordsNotMine
5. Avoid sunsets, food, and selfies
A common theme throughout this post is that you should be keeping your mind on creating value for your followers. If you’re Justin Beiber , then your fans would obviously appreciate pictures of you (We just couldn’t get through a Twitter article without mention of the Beibs, could we?). Steer away from wasting people’s time with photos like that on Twitter. If you must, use other avenues like Instagram.
6. Don’t thank people for ReTweeting or Following you
Don’t JUST thank them, I mean: “Thanks for the RT!” What you should do instead is include a follow up comment or question for them. “Thanks for RTing! Do you have any experience with this?” Be yourself while thanking them, and converse. Add some sort of interaction and value to your tweet.
7. Utilize DM’s
We learned earlier not to group your postings and how annoying it could be. If you’re going to have a full conversation with someone on Twitter, use Direct Messaging, or DM.
8. Check links before ReTweeting
Don’t just blindly ReTweet because you think a link might be useful to your followers. Use preventative measures. You don’t want to send a potential client or colleague to a bad site (I’ll leave the definition of “bad site” up to your imagination). Follow a link and approve of it before you associate yourself with it.
Also keep in mind if you have a link in every tweet, you’re spamming, says Twitter’s TOS (Terms of Service) guidelines (‘…You cannot use Twitter for the purposes of spamming anyone and if your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates, you can be shut down.’)
9. You don’t always have to follow back
This one there’s quite a debate over. You can follow someone and see their updates, but there is absolutely no obligation for them to follow you back. Though I suggest at least checking out their stream and reviewing their account. If you think they provide meaningful information or are just plain fun to follow, then follow them. Twitter isn’t a race to see who can get the most followers. Post useful content and it’s more likely that legitimate users will find you and read your updates. People follow other users on Twitter to read updates that are interesting to them.
10. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
It is dreadfully unpleasant to be around someone who’s injecting unpleasant emotions and vibes into every conversation. Life is already short and tough enough, you don’t need negativity dragging you or others down. Get more in touch with the emotional aspect of the conversation. Be mature, play nice. Above all else, remember that what you post on the internet, even if you delete it, is forever.
What drives you crazy on Twitter? What are some of your best practices? Share your ideas and experiences below.