7 tips for Twitter etiquette
Being a bit of a Twitterer (@calistatweets), it has struck me that there is a Twitter etiquette, that quite frankly some people just don't get. I have therefore put together a shortlist of tips so you don't fall foul of Twitter etiquette. If you are doing any of the below, please stop immediately!
1. Thanks for the follow - publicly
There is one law firm (who will remain nameless) who thanks each of their new followers individually and publicly. Even worse, they use the same message. On receiving it once, you think "ah that's nice that they have noticed that I'm following them". However, not very long after you realise just how unspecial and un-unique you really are!
I have no problem thanking followers, but do so privately. Use it as an excuse to start a conversation.
2. Thanks for the retweet - publicly
Yes, unfortunately the aforementioned law firm also does this. And quite frankly it's getting so annoying that I might just unfollow them. The only reason I'm not is that they are providing me with insights into how not to use Twitter! If you must thank for a retweet (and I'm not sure twitterers are after thanks for something they do regularly), then do so privately.
3. #over #use #hashtags
In the same way that websites should not be stuffed with keywords, the same principle applies to Twitter and hashtags. Some people use so many # that you can't read the tweet. It's like reading a text from my 14 year old - takes me about 5 minutes just to decypher the code.
4. Write professionally
Don't use shorthand when you can use proper words. Do you really want to see a lawyer or accountant tweeting "File yr tax now, it's not 2 l8"? Yes you only have 140 characters, but use them wisely and only use 120 of them to leave room for people to retweet.
5. Tweeting irrelevance
Please, please, please tweet about stuff people would be interested in. Do I really want to know what coffee you're drinking or what you're wearing? (exception here is if you put in your profile that this is precisely what you're going to be tweeting about!)
6. Cheating the 140 character rule
Saw this one in action today. This is where people use up their 140 characters and then carry on in the next tweet and then the next. It's called overfollowing tweets. Don't do it. The 140 character is there to encourage brevity - abide by the rule.
7. Warn your audience if you are going to tweet live from events
Everyone likes to be kept up-to-date, but if you are going to live-tweet from events, give people the heads up so that they don't think you've suddenly got verbal diarrhea or feel spammed by you clogging up their timeline.