Even limited to 140 characters, the Twitterverse can be pretty intimidating for new users. Here are a few tips for making a graceful entrance and avoiding some of the most common Twitter faux pas:
- Don’t be an egghead. Take the time to compose a thoughtful bio and add your avatar. Your followers want to talk to a person.
- Be professional, but casual. Use proper spelling and grammar, but don’t speak too formally. The conversation on Twitter is generally pretty light.
- Be careful of what you share. Twitter messages are public. Anything that you wouldn’t want the whole world to know about should be kept private.
- Ask questions, listen, and respond. Remember that Twitter, like all social media platforms, works best when the communication is two-way.
- Don’t over promote yourself. Twitter can be a good place to share new information about your products, services, and business. However, people don’t want to be bombarded by advertisements.
- Be positive. Nobody wants to follow a Negative Nancy. Keep your messages upbeat.
- Be a resource. The most engaging Twitter users have really useful and interesting information.
- Follow your instincts. Follow people because you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, not because you want them to follow back. But make an effort to follow back the people who follow you.
- Say Thanks. Don’t forget to thank the people who re-tweet or promote your posts. A direct message works well for this. And if you want to be really amazing, you can thank new followers for subscribing, as well.
- Be timely. Try to respond to people within twenty-four hours.
- Use the hashtags sparingly. Placing a “#” in front of a word lets Twitter users find your post in a search. This is a great way to help people who are interested in what you’re talking about find you. But don’t use too many in a sentence, it gets crowded.
- Keep it brief. It takes some practice to consolidate a message to just 140 characters, but stick to the format and keep it to one post as best you can.
- Deprogram the bot. People can tell when messages are automated, like when your Facebook and Twitter feeds are connected. A Facebook message isn’t optimized for Twitter, so it often becomes cut-off. Manage your feeds separately, and don’t use the auto direct message services for new followers, either.
- Give credit. When you’re citing information provide a link to the original source, or credit the Twitter user who was your source using the “@” symbol.
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See you in the Twitterverse!
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