by M.R. Goodhew
There are all kinds of rules to know about how to operate on twitter. Get some of these wrong and you’ll be unfollowed and even blocked by some users. The intensity of the set of standards that has developed on twitter is so ingrained into its users, that I choose to call this subject Twitter Etiquette.
It’s best not tag a person in your post unless you know for sure it is okay with them. Using a followers handle in a tweet without permission will get you unfollowed and possibly even blocked.
You should steer-cleer of posting 1o or more tweets in a row, you’d be monopolizing the feed and this is considered spammy. You want to time your tweets at intervals so it’s not just your tweets that everyone is seeing.
You shouldn’t use characters in your tweets that look unfamiliar to a regular keyboard standard, people might think you are unprofessional and may fail to trust your brand. Plus, they may have a hard time interpreting your tweet.
Try not to abbreviate everything in your tweet, it could get irritating to try and read. A few abbreviations such as RT for retweet, TY for thank you, are simple abbreviations that nearly everyone understands. The more you abbreviate, the more you begin to appear less human, and you won’t gain popularity as quickly or have people wanting to engage with you.
Use hashtags relevant to your brand with every post you make. Over three hashtags is too many. Keep it to a maximum of three hashtags and be sure you’re not spamming a hashtag. When your content doesn’t provide any valuable information to a person searching that hashtag, you know you are spamming.
Do share other peoples content. It is customary to share a followers content if they have retweeted you, followed you, or mentioned you. At the same time, be sure that the tweet of theirs that you’re sharing is their pinned tweet. If they don’t have a pinned tweet, a good place to check for their content is in their photos. Most tweeters will attach their brand marketing to alluring photos that end up in their photo feed. Do your best not to retweet a retweet, it’s just rude. The only time that this would be okay is if you just can’t locate something that they have shared that is their own.
Be sure to share your own content after sharing others so that when people come to your profile it’s your tweets they see and share. Pin your best and most important tweet to the top of your page.
Know that when you exceed your followers in follows by a certain percentage, twitter will not let you follow any more users until both sides balance out.
Thank people for following you with a tweet. It’s not just an opportunity to thank them, but your chance to get your brand out there in the feed. This is also a case where it is okay to use their twitter handle to mention them. Include a quick call to action, and be sure to add a relevant photo that they will want to share. Most people retweet thank you’s anyway just as a common courtesy.
You can also automate a direct message (DM) to send out to your new followers that tells them little about you and invites them to your website to discover more. Inviting people to your platform is important for the marketing aspect of your brand. It brings them one step closer to becoming a loyal follower and purchasing your product or inquiring about your services. Be sure your automated DM doesn’t sound generic, people tend to skip over generic DM’s. They want to feel as if they are communicating with a real person and making a connection, not a bot.
Be a friendly connection and retweet your new followers pinned tweet, why not, you’re there anyway right? This will get their attention and more than likely bring them back to your profile where they will take a closer look at all you have to offer. Follow back and add them to a public or private list once you have scanned their feed and know what they’re all about. This will aid you in monitoring your network later.
Thank people for re-tweeting you with a tweet and use their handle to mention them, this shows other tweeters who is re-tweeting, and hence, who to follow. It is a nice gesture. You can again include a call to action that pitches your brand and takes them to a point of sale or to your website. Always include a relevant picture if you can because it calls attention to your tweet.
Be sure to also retweet your retweeters, it’s only fair and proper. And again, try your best not to tweet their retweets. It might be considered lazy and rude not to attempt to retweet their original content.
Do respond to your mentions by thanking your follower or fellow tweeter. It’s more than likely that the mention is not automated so they took some time and effort to connect with you. Communicate with people who mention you and then re-tweet or mention them when you share their content in return.
If you’re in business (which I assume you are if you’re reading this) then you want to maintain a certain air of professionalism which means that some subject matter is taboo. Gossip, political viewpoints, anything that might be considered sexist or racist, and religion are typical subjects to steer clear of if you don’t want to offend portions of your network.
Send out a Friday tweet to your favorite followers thanking them. This is tagged #FF. Follow Friday is essentially a Twitter holiday with the aim of getting people to follow one another.
Don’t just pay attention to the people that are paying attention to you. Take the time to reach out to your network and make connections. This is a great opportunity to monitor your lists.
Do tweet random tweets, be a human, say real things. This will make your followers more inclined to connect with you and respond well to your brand. Twitter isn’t just about marketing and people want to know that you’re a living, breathing person.
I recommend that you do not validate your followers as it will drive them away, and respond to them personally for following you rather than having a service do it.
Try to sell your entire brand on twitter through your personality and your tweets.
This is one way to help you become a success in creating a network of targeted followers that interact with your content, rarely unfollow, purchase your product, and spread the word about your brand.
Do you have a general rule that I didn’t think of? What are your top twitter rules?
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