While some of what is listed below is just plain courtesy, others are indicative of the new platform itself.
Whether you are looking to utilize Twitter for personal or professional purposes, knowing these tips and being aware of these faux pas are important.
1). Tweet Timing – Timing tweets is important for several reasons. Tweeting too little implies that you are not engaged and causes potential followers to overlook you. Tweeting too much (as in more than once an hour) may overwhelm some of your followers causing them to un-follow you. As you may discover, no one wants to login to their account to find his or her feed dominated by a single tweeter.
2). Use Common Sense – This may sound obvious, but it is sadly surprising that even the famous forget it (Weinergate anyone?) Remember that like Facebook, Twitter is a public platform and you shouldn’t tweet what you don’t want others to know or see. This is especially important if Twitter is being used for a professional account. Let’s not even get into how many Twitter crises cases have ruined the reputation of companies or cost people their jobs.
Also keep in mind that others may find what you find amusing and funny are rude and offensive. What is rude in real life is rude on Twitter. Make sure there is a distinction between a personal and professional account.
3). Tweet Button – Using a tweet button to promote articles found on your blog, website or whatnot can be a great promotion and publicity tool. However, if you want people to share your information, make it easy for them. This means featuring the button in an easy, accessible location such as the top or side of the article near the headline. Don’t make your reader go for a wild goose chase and search for it.
Also, make sure you know what the tweet text reads. I have clicked on Tweet buttons which display just a nondescript link or that significantly exceed the 140 character limit. Be conscience of these items or chances are you will not get retweeted.
4). Give Credit – Be considerate and give your sources the credit they deserve. This means if you tweet an article from your favorite blog or website, say it. There are several ways this can be done. Hashtag your subject or brand you are tweeting about or state the article title “via” @thesource. If all else fails, just state the source or author it came from with a dash.
5). Be Useful – Don’t use Twitter to just self-promote shamelessly. Share info and add value. Give people a reason to want to follow you. It is helpful to mention your mission or Twitter undertaking in the bio section of your profile so that people have an idea about your twitter mission.
6). Respond to your followers - Be engaged and stay engaged. This means, if someone tweets at you. Tweet back. Ask questions. Give opinions. This may be a challenge for individuals who are not familiar with Twitter and just what exactly a #hashtag is or how to “tweet” @somebody. This is just the reason it is important to familiarize yourself with Twitter and its features before diving in.
7). Complete your Profile – Having a completed profile shows that you are not a spammer and that there is a reason for people to want to follow you. As mentioned, you can state in your bio your Twitter purpose. Also, having a profile picture allows people to have something to identify with.
I have tired to cover most basics, but am happy to hear any more basics I may have missed or insight. Please share any other Twitter tips, tricks or suggestions you have come across in your Twitter experience.