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Monday, December 21, 2009

7 Common Sense Rules for Twitter

with Twitter going mainstream and gaining masses of newcomers on a daily basis, I see more and more senseless messages floating around. To be completely honest, it’s not only the new guys, but some seasoned twitters as well. People say “Social media is 90% common sense”. In regard to that, the “rules” I will list in this post, you have probably already figured out on your own, I hope. Apparently not all did, tho’.
In this article I will try to explain you some basic principles that you use when you socialize. Think about what you tweet – on the other side is a person and not a Twitter account. Unfortunately, some people on Twitter and online in general, do things they would not do in person. For instance, when I search on Twitter for a specific topic, I get so many spam like tweets that have nothing to do with the subject. By doing that, you waste your and other people’s time.

The following is a list of 7 common sense rules you should use on Twitter

1. Get rid of useless ReTweets. Remember #followfriday recommendations? They used to be cool, but these days all you see is people retweeting list of names that has no meaning. I usually ignore these huge RTs. Sometimes people greet multiple friends at once – OK I understand this – but why do ten people have to retweet this?

2. Don’t be pushy. Don’t know how to exactly explain or name this one, but I will try my best. Sometimes people try to promote their product, which is fine by me, but they take wrong approach. I have seen they send their tweets (with the link to their product) to many users at once, usually those who have many followers, with the tweet containing no real information what the link is about. It is annoying and most of us just ignore such tweets.

3. Be nice. I think this one is self explanatory. People enjoy pleasant conversations. Say hi sometimes or thank or reply to a question – not every tweet has to contain a link to your website. If you only post information your followers will feel like you don’t care about them. Also, don’t ignore it when people tweet you, take time and reply to them.

4. Do not repeat yourself. I know you want your blog or product be seen by everyone, but if you repeatedly tweet that link to your followers, they might just ignore or unfollow you. Try to limit that to a few times a day.
5. People have names. It feels good if people actually address you by your real name sometimes and gives you a feeling you interact with a human being. You don’t have to do it every time, but once in a while is nice.

6. And they have short memory. Since Twitter lacks threaded conversations, it is sometimes difficult to know what a certain tweet was a response to. Try to include some sort of indication what question you are referring to. I sometimes RT the message in my reply to make it obvious to what I was replying.

7. Give credit and share. If you find something you like, share it and tell where it comes from. If someone tweets something interesting that you want to retweet, thank him and mention him in your retweet. Again, I know this is hard to do every time, especially if you follow many people, but once in a while is nice.

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