Twitter etiquette for the beginner... and the twat waffle. I don't often do Top Tens, but due to a growing discord that I've heard through the Twittersphere, I thought it was about time I cranked up my initiative and wrote this out. For those that don't know me very well, I am a professional online marketer and creative director for almost ten years now (ouch, I feel old), even though I don't often talk shop on this site. And yes, this ambitious undertaking hurt my A.D.D. a little, and yes, I shall be napping once it's done.
10. No blind links. What is that link? Where will it take me? What the hell are you trying to get me to do? This is how I feel EVERY time I see a link without a headline, hashtag (like #photo or #porn) or something, anything that will tell me what this link is for. That's what headlines are for - lead the reader in - make us want to click and read/see more.
9. RT effectively. Odds are you and your followers follow quite a few of the same people. The best way to do a "real" RT (when you retweet directly using the icon that looks like a recycle symbol) is to first "favorite" it and then retweet it in an hour or later. This way, your followers won't have 2, 3, 4 of the exact same tweet scrolling through their feed at the same time - how annoying!
8. Over Retweeting - Whoa, there! I know it's a nice pat on the back when someone retweets you, and there are sites like FavStar.fm that make a fortune getting people to pay (yes, people actually PAY) for tracking your retweets, favorite'd stars and also allow to award others with virtual trophies for their clever quips, insults and creative double entendres for the use of the work 'fuck'. But when I open my timeline and there are 15 retweets in a row from all the same person, the first thing I do? I won't unfollow, but I will go to their profile and select "turn off retweets". It's a lovely, relatively new function - I use it a lot.
7. Check your motherfucking links. I have unfollowed people because of them consistently posting broken or invalid links - true story. Especially if you are a blogger, marketer or someone that should know how these things work, please test them first. If you tweet a link that doesn't work, it defeats the purpose of drawing people to your site, and therefore pisses me off for clicking. Do it once? Shame on you. Do it twice? Shame on me for clicking again. It will be the last time, I promise. (This morning was a prime example of that. Gaahhh.)
6. Don't Auto DM like it's 2006. That is all. Enough said.
5. Twitter is a SOCIAL media - not a soap box. To quote my very close, personal acquaintance* Scott Stratten, "Twitter is a conversation... I know, I know “TWITTER HAS NO RULES” and flippity-flo, but the point is if you believe that business is built on relationships, you have to make building them your business."1 I will be honest here and say that if you follow me and I check out your timeline and you have interacted with zero people, I likely won't follow you back. You're obviously too self-important to have room for me in your Twitter life. And that also holds true with celebs - if they have over 3 million followers but follow zero, they are simply a douchebag.
4. Manual RT's have a time and place. I know Scott will disagree with me here because manual retweeting means it breaks the contextual history of a tweet, blardy blar blar, but in my opinion, sometimes they have a place.
By doing this, I not only replied to his tweet, but I also included his tweet to MY followers that might not necessarily follow him, so they see both the statement and the comeback. Again, it's not to be used all the time, but there are situations when it serves a purpose.
3. Hashtag smashtag. The primary purpose for a hashtag is to increase search results for particular words such as #savethechildren or #blogher12 etc, etc and can get your tweet seen by more people than just your followers - and even can help you gain new followers. Hashtags are also used as a joke or punchline, such as #gofuckyourself which, when used right, can be funny. Tweets such as "#join #theparty #forfunandgames" are simply obnoxious and serve little purpose other than telling me you have no idea what hashtags are for.
2. I ain't no follow back girl. I believe the notion of "Teamfollowback" is ridiculous. We all follow people (or companies) for different reasons - that is the beauty of Twitter. There should be ZERO push to follow people when I don't feel their tweets are of personal interest or relevance to me. Guilting (or begging) for follow-backs is like asking for everyone you like to like everything you do. Well, life doesn't work that way! You may follow me because you like my vagina jokes, but if your profile says you're into country music and Jesus, guess what? I respect that about you, but I don't want to read your tweets. Thanks for wanting to listen to my jokes and if you talk to me, I will likely respond but that's where our relationship ends... AND THAT'S OK.