Let's proceed. This week I'd like to look at Twitter DON'Ts and, just to keep my world from slipping into a vortex of catty negativity, some DOs, as well.
DON'T tweet the same message from multiple accounts
I know Hootsuite is super rad because you can link up your two corporate accounts, your personal account, and the account for your cat. But pretty please, don't tweet from all of them at the same time. Chances are, if I follow one of your accounts, I follow all of them because I think you're a relevant personage. And now you're spamming my feed? This is me unfollowing you. Even your adorable cat's account.
DO tweet from as few accounts as possible
Building a voice on Twitter takes time and dedication. And by voice, I mean a distinct style. Trying to build multiple voices for the multiple "facets of your personality" is madness. Keep it simple, stupid.
DON'T ask Twitter "what's up?"
What's up with you? No really? What are you doing. Thinking. Feeling. Reading about. Who cares about me! It's your account! Tweet something!! You're eating yogurt? Super! Just give me something to go on.
DO tell me about your feelings
This is sort of a huge don't, but only really in excess. And it's definitely a don't when another person is involved. YES: I am having an existential crisis and trying to deal with my co-dependency issues. NO: Anything that starts with "my ex" or "my parents" or anything like that. Don't do it. Your account, your business. Keep it at that.
Sure, twitter is about conversation, and the best conversations always take you a little outside your comfort zone. The hard part is trying to keep it real and maintaining your dignity at the same time. Tell me when you figure that one out.
DON'T send auto DMs
This is the ultimate Twitter sin; it goes against everything Twitter stands for. Twitter is a dynamic conversation based on a give and take of information, and genuine curiosity about what other people are thinking and doing in the world we live in today.
Sure, you have something to sell, don't we all, but a robot-generated response to my follow is a slap in the face. It says to me: "I don't care about creating a dialogue with you, I just want to brand you with my agenda in as quick a manner as possible." I'm glad that you care more about your product than other people. Please go away.
DO @ reply more than you tweet
Step one: find relevant followers who are genuinely interested in your product. Look up people or companies like you and follow their followers. They will follow you back. Step two: engage in conversation. Don't talk about your product or your agenda when @ replying. I know, this is scary, but run with me here. Step three: talk about your product/agenda sometimes, but make sure this is about you providing relevant, need-to-know information, not a reflection of your desperation TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT THERE. It's like dating. Always hold something back.
DON'T link your twitter account with LinkedIn
(Unless what you tweet about is 85% relevant to what's in your LinkedIn profile.)
I am completely guilty of this. I thought my twitter account would act as an RSS feed for book and social media related opinions and links. It didn't quite work out that way. Then I forgot that I'd linked up my accounts, and then our business manager at work started commenting on how I seemed to be obsessed with J. Crew. Link your accounts with discretion, folks. Better yet, don't do it at all.
DO tweet regularly
It's like eating your vegetables–you need to do it every day. The twitter feed is ever refreshing, and I know this is what intimidates some people, but just jump on that carousel and enjoy the ride. Not everything you write will blow minds, but as long as you're genuinely interested in what you're tweeting about, it will be OK. Don't hold back, and, in a world of fakes, you'll find that your followers will appreciate your candor.
DON'T RT (re-tweet)
Or try not to. I love RT'ing but whenever I ask myself why I RT'd a particular post, the answer is always: "SO PEOPLE WILL KNOW HOW RELEVANT I AM!"
Certified dick move. Certified twitter #fail.
Unless the tweet is that juicy, go with original content. And please RT my tweets.
DO create hashtags
Great way to get your tweets picked up in searches. Just stay away from acronyms, and don't get fancy with your spellings. When it comes to hashtags, the less creative the better, really.
DON'T circle jerk
Not to be crass, but circle jerking is a big tweet peeve of mine. So you and your five friends all love each other and want to talk on twitter all the time. Well, if I'm following all of you, it's really my fault that you're spamming my feed. But, if you five are trying to feed off of each other professionally, I hope you enjoy the tiny itsy bitsy little box you've just put yourself in. Not recommended, even when it Feels. So. Good.
DO expect to be unfollowed
If people aren't unfollowing you, you're not doing it right. Having an opinion is a polarizing situation. Don't fence sit. Opine, though try not to be a dick about it.
DON'T treat your followers as your subjects
We all want the chance to rule our own corner of the world, but Twitter is not the place for that. Throwing out comments, and then retreating, expecting others to natter over your golden words of wisdom is selfish. Engage, and expect to be taken down occasionally. If you're like me and you take everything personally, this is not fun, but then again, now is always the time to work on your control issues.
Please comment below and tell me what a jerk I am. Or keep it real and tell me your own tweet peeves.