I’m sure you’re really cute. I’m positive your mother finds you adorable and told you so many times. Your real life friends also likely find you hilarious. I’ll bet you’re the life of the party. But, on Twitter, we kinda think you’re an asshole.
Your snark comes across as condescending and, frankly, some of your methods of “engaging” are annoying. You act like a rude, arrogant little know-it-all. For the most part, we just want you to go away.
Oh, you didn’t know? I’m so sorry! I assumed you were doing it on purpose.
Perhaps you just aren’t sure how to convert the manners your Momma taught you into social media exchanges. Maybe you’re just modeling bad behavior. Let me help you with these tips for displaying impeccable manners on Twitter.
Avoid auto DMs
Everyone hates receiving auto direct messages on Twitter. Everyone seems to know this. I really don’t understand why people still use them. If you are, please stop now.
Stop “validating” followers
Honestly, who do you think it coming to follow you that you’re so afraid of? Stop already with forcing your followers to go through a validation process. Most of us just decide we don’t want to follow you badly enough to go through that frustration.
Give a high volume warning
If you are live tweeting an event or participating in Twitter chat, let your followers know. These types of happenings result in you sending a high number of tweets in a short timeframe. Just give your followers a heads up. Heck, invite them to join you or follow along.
Use hashtags appropriately
Hashtags are the way you add a subject to a tweet. However, some people seem to use them just for fun. Use hashtags sparingly so you don’t confuse your followers. One or two per tweet is plenty. You don’t need #allthehashtags.
Engage with others on Twitter, don’t just use it as a fire hose for disseminating your message. Doing that is like being the guy at the party who does nothing but talk about himself.
Give more to your followers than you ask of them. Provide valuable content, retweets and engagement with individuals before you even think about asking them for something. You should spend the majority of your time on Twitter promoting others. They’ll return the favor.
Don’t Tweet just to do so. Instead, ask yourself what your followers will get out of the information. What’s in it for them? If you aren’t providing value for them, consider skipping it.
Don’t get too personal
I honestly am amazed by some of the things people discuss on social media. It’s important to show you personality and develop relationships without revealing too much about your personal life. Ask yourself: “Do I want this information in the Library of Congress?” If the answer is no, keep it to yourself. If you really must share the personal information with someone, call your best friend.
I don’t think 140 characters is an excuse for bad writing. Don’t use improper language or randomly abbreviate things. You may note that most of my Tweets are written in AP Style, which admittedly is excessive. More importantly, think about how you want to represent your brand, whether that be a company/organization or yourself.
Respond in a timely manner
Respond as quickly as you can to people who pose questions or ask for your help. Be honest about whether you can assist them, but never ignore them. You come across as a narcissist.
Praise and thank publicly
Thank you goes a long way. People like to be told they’ve done something well, you liked something they wrote or just that you appreciate them. Genuinely praise and thank your individual followers every chance you get. I hope you realize that ranting, cursing or just generally being rude will hurt you and your brand. Maybe you were just trying to be playful, but hopefully this honest advice will help you become more fun to chat with.
Let’s Talk Nerdy!
What’s one thing people do on Twitter that really ticks you off? How can they repair this ill-mannered practice?