I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. When I first took it up about two years ago (like Bridget Jones in her new diary) I couldn’t grasp it at all. I think I issued one useless Tweet and then abandoned the whole thing. It wasn’t until six months later, when it seemed the whole world had gone Twitter mad, that I felt compelled to follow suit and jump on board.
Then I became a Twitter addict. I avidly read my Twitter feed every few hours, keeping up to date with everyone’s business and views, now matter how dull and trivial. At the time it actually seemed interesting. And if you have something to promote, it really can serve a purpose. (i.e. – like a Blog!)
Now I’m so busy with various projects, I haven’t got the time to scan the information flow quite as regularly, but I’ll still check in every couple of days to try and keep in touch with the Twitter universe. I mean, Twitter has become so HUGE, it’s all a bit daunting.
Today more there are more than FIFTY-FIVE MILLION Twitter users and about FIFTY-EIGHT MILLION Tweets are issued every day.
Which is why I think it’s time someone laid out some ground rules. I know I need to be reminded of them myself. After all, you never know who is reading your Twitter feed and once you post something, it’s out there for good. Yes, you can delete a Tweet once it has been sent, but if a reader has already opened their Twitter feed and seen it, it’s too late…
Here are my Top Ten Twitter Rules:
1. Remember that Twitter is more of an information tool than a way of communicating personal messages to friends. That’s why we use emails and text messages. i.e. To ask your friend on Twitter, when they expect to arrive at the party you’re heading to, is not the slightest bit interesting to the rest of us.
2. DON’T Tweet when drinking alcohol. Very dangerous. Not only might you say something insulting and potentially libellous, you’ll probably spell it incorrectly too.
3. Don’t boast about a great night out with friends if you can help it, because that’s more of a Facebook thing. That’s where you can put up a whole album of happy snaps for people who might be interested. But if it’s a night out and you mention the VENUE you’re at in a positive light, that’s a different matter. Then you’re helping others with a positive recommendation of somewhere to go.
4. Unless someone has been particularly unkind to you, it’s nicer NOT to ‘UNFOLLOW’ people. This is a tricky one, because some Twitterers can become a tad annoying and it’s tempting to push a button a delete them from your time line. But really, if you just scroll a bit faster, you can skip their rubbish and avoid hurting feelings. It’s also a tricky issue because Twitter has been known to unfollow people from our accounts without us knowing – leading to all sorts of problems… I rarely ‘unfollow’, so if it appears that’s I’ve ‘unfollowed’ YOU, let me know. I’m sure it’s a Twitter glitch!
5. Don’t retweet compliments another follower writes about you. You just look like a complete wanker.
6. Do not Tweet what you had for breakfast. Yeah, we all know that, right? Nup, people still do it. Actually, I should have added that to Point Four. You are allowed to ‘unfollow’ someone if they Tweet what they had for breakfast.
7. If your Tweet gets dozens of responses, you don’t have to reply to them all. One or two maybe, but to fill up our feeds with twenty ‘Thank you’ messages is really dull…
8. Don’t BUY followers to try and look popular. When your follower numbers skyrocket from two thousand to eighty thousand overnight, it’s kinda obvious… and sad.
9. DO let us know if you see a great show, a fantastic movie or find a new restaurant that’s brilliant.
10. DO Tweet about politicians who smack people in the face – with pictures. The more evidence we get to get rid of them, the better.
So there you go – my Top Ten Twitter Etiquette tips. Have you got any more I can add to the list?