I've been on Twitter almost since it started. I love it. While it's become more mainstream recently, I still find a lot of people misusing Twitter.
To be fair, it's a user-driven platform, so the “rules” are always changing. Still, there are some simple practices anyone can use on Twitter to make you not look like such a newbie — or a jerk.
Here are 20 quick tips (in addition to my Twitter tips for beginners) to help your social media etiquette:
Twitter manners 101
- Be gracious.
- Be social. Twitter is about conversation, not monologue.
- Say “thank you” (a lot).
- Use the @ reply to publicly thank someone.
- Don't just follow people; engage them.
- Have a sense of humor.
- Refrain from flaming. Use your words to encourage and lift up rather than to tear down. Never underestimate the power of a tweet.
- Don't follow someone expecting him to follow you back. Follow because you're interested in what the person has to say. (Conversely, and somewhat ironically, if someone does follow you, it's courteous to follow back.)
- Be informal. Have fun. Don't treat it as a chore.
- Don't hound influential people, begging them to read your blog or retweet you. Win their trust and influence by being remarkable and serving them first. My best strategy for networking is serving others.
- Hold back the urge to tweet too much (more than 20 times per day). If you have a lot of ideas, use a program like Hootsuite or Cotweet to schedule your tweets so that they can be spaced out.
- Listen to your followers.
- Show interest in others, before asking them to care about you (or what you do).
- Ask questions.
- Don't be afraid to ask for a retweet when it's really important. (This is best utilized when it's to help out someone else.)
- Tell the truth.
- Don't tweet in the third person (Jeff hates it when you do that — it's so Facebook circa 2008).
- Don't retweet people who retweet you, unless you're responding and quoting them. e.g. “RT @JeffGoins are you crazy?! // You bet.”
- Promote other people's stuff (blog posts, photos, websites, etc.)
- Talk about other people more than you do about yourself. A good rule of thumb is the 20:1 ratio.
What tips for Twitter etiquette would you add? Share in the comments.