Don’t Drink and Tweet: The Twitter Don’ts

There’s a tremendous amount of information out there now about how to tweet. Most people have a good understanding of the Twitter basics: connect, engage and offer value to build your brand and your followers. However, I’m amazed at how many people continue to make mistakes on Twitter that cost them followers, friends and potential clients. Because of the ease and speed of the medium, it’s just as easy to fall out of favor as it is to engage and entertain. I can assure you that you don’t want the reputation of a pest, a bore, or even worse, a spammer.

Keeping this in mind, here are six “Twitter Don’ts” to keep you on track:

#1 Don’t Overpromote – You will lose friends and followers quickly if all you do is talk about your products or services. Don’t only offer links to your own website and blog. The key here is balance. It’s okay to promote yourself or your products, but if it’s all you do, it will likely irritate a lot of people.

#2 Don’t Repeat The Same Message – There are quite a few people out there who think if they repeat the same promotional message a gazillion times that it will help drive sales. The only thing it will get you is unfollowed. If you have an important message or offer to put out there, tweet once early in the day and again later in the day to reach friends and followers in all time zones. Re-craft your tweet to send out again on a different day. Anything more is just considered spam.

#3 Don’t Abuse Hashtags – Hashtags can be extremely useful, particularly when referencing a fresh, hot topic. But they are frequently abused by spammers, marketers and applications. Choose which ones you do use wisely and keep it to a minimum. There’s even a fairly popular #twitter hashtag now. For goodness sake people, we’re ON Twitter! Common sense and good judgment are the order of the day here.

#4 Don’t Tweet In Rapid-Fire Succession – You know the guy who always sends out a couple dozen tweets all at once? Ugh. Some people tweet endlessly about things that you may not find interesting at all. Or they use an application that allows them to store and schedule tweets and send out 20 at one time. Mostly, this is just downright annoying and clogs up cyberspace. It’s fine to tweet often, especially if you have interesting things to say, but please don’t hit us over the head with everything at once.

#5 Don’t Beg For Retweets – Asking “Please RT” just makes you look desperate. If your content is interesting and you are consistently sending out something of value, your followers will retweet you over and over again.

#6 Don’t Drink And Tweet – You are what you tweet, so think twice before tweeting under the influence. Once you hit “update” it’s out there forever. Better to drunk dial your ex than to put something rude, offensive or God forbid, stupid, out there for all to see for eternity.

©Liz Dennery Sanders 2009

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