In September, I wrote a post outlining how to get started on Twitter. Now that everyone has had a couple of months to get a feel for the social network, you’re ready to learn how to become a better Tweeter.
Here are 7 rules for the best Twitter etiquette.
- Don’t Follow Everyone- Unless you want to get absolutely nothing done all day, you probably want to limit the number of people you’re following. It’s like the law of diminishing returns–at a certain point, you’re following so many people that you can’t keep up with important conversations, and you end up missing out on all the benefits of Twitter.
- Explain Your Links- One of my favorite things about Twitter is all of the links everyone shares. If you find a quality article that others would be interested in, Tweet a link to it. However, make sure you explain what the link is. Don’t just drop a link in a post without at least mentioning the title of the article.
- Engage with Others- You network with other people on Twitter for a reason—to interact with them. Don’t just sit back on the sidelines; jump into the conversation. It is, after all, a social network. Be social.
- Limit Self-Promotion- If you want to alienate and lose followers quickly, make sure every Tweet is about promoting your brand. Look, there’s nothing wrong with sending a Tweet out occasionally asking people to check out one of your blog posts or something. But if every single Tweet is self-promotional, no one will pay attention to you. It’s not all about you.
- Avoid Binge Tweeting- Now, I know some of you are going to disagree with this, and you’ll say “If someone doesn’t like the way I Tweet, they don’t have to follow me.” That’s true, but show some respect to others. If you drop 30 messages in 2 minutes, you completely overshadow everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with using Twitter a lot, but be careful that you’re not stealing the floor.
- Preserve Your Image- Sure, you want to inject your personality into your Twitter profile. Being personable is a key part of effective social networking. However, you want to make sure you still preserve your image. In other words, if you use Twitter for professional networking, it might not be a good idea to post whenever you get wasted at the bar on Friday night. Basically, showcase your personality, but don’t make a fool of yourself.
- Try to Add Value- When it comes down to it, the people I seek to follow are those that add something of value to the community. Whether it’s quality links, interesting insight, or just a sense of humor, you need to try your best to add something to the user experience. By adding value, your followers will pay more attention to you and you’ll build your authority.
What tips would you add to this list? If you’re on Twitter, what do you feel is proper etiquette?