Time for another social media rant post. I read the latest blog that’s going around, you know, the one about 11 ways you can stop pissing me off on Twitter? While I agree with the points listed in that post, I think a few more need to be added. So I’m gonna play the role of Emily Post and offer my usual unsolicited advice.
12. Don’t be a Twitter snob. Twitter is supposed to be about being social. It’s ok if you don’t follow me back; I don’t follow everyone one back either. But it isn’t okay to ignore followers when they directly @ you, (especially if their @ reply is pertinent to your tweet, discussion or opinion). The point of twitter is to interact and be social. Yes, you may have a website/blog/product you are focusing on promoting, but if you don’t even @ reply to a follower, you are treating them as if they are not worthy of your attention. As a matter of fact, people that are tweeting to promote a website/blog/product should feel a greater need to interact and respond to @ replies, so ignoring could lose you followers if you act like a Twitter snob. Kinda counter-productive, dontcha think?
13. Retweet with care. My twitter feed is full of sports tweeters. We all follow some of the same people, especially sports writers and sports insiders. When big news breaks, I will see the same tweet retweeted at least 10 times. Stop and look in your tweet stream before you retweet. If we all follow the same people, we’ve all seen it. If it’s already been retweeted 5 times, we really don’t need to see it again and again. Comment to the big news? Yes! I want to hear what you think about it, but retweeting it verbatim is just annoying.
14. Read the bio, people! How many people do you follow that you have absolutely nothing in common with? I hope that there are only a few, if any, unless they are celebrities, of course. Seriously, before you start to follow someone, read their bio and give it some thought. I live in the Greater Washington DC area and mostly tweet about hockey, so naturally I expect to have people who are at least interested in sports to follow me, but I actually once had a follower who is birthday party clown in the Midwest. First reaction when I saw them on my follower list was: “Huh”? (I still wonder how they even found me in the first place.) Before I follow anyone, I read their bio and also scroll through their feed. If I see tweets I find interesting, or that the Tweep seems like-minded, I’ll follow them. And, believe this, I will look at who else is following you. If they are some of the same people as my own followers, and you have great conversations with them, I’m in. Which brings me to a secondary thought here: please use the bio field on your profile. It will make it a whole lot easier for people to want to follow you if you give at least a little information about yourself to begin with.
15. Learn what to expect when you have locked your account. Lots of the people I follow have locked accounts, some of them have always been private, some went private after a while for a myriad of personal reasons. It’s cool; I used to have a private account myself. But if you do have a private account, please realize that those of us who read bios and tweet streams before we follow back can’t get the full impact of who you are. Also, if people are not following you back, they will not see your @ replies to them. So if someone doesn’t answer you, don’t be insulted and tweet ad nauseam that they are a Twitter snob; it’s because you locked your account.
16. Don’t beg for followers. It just makes you look insecure and desperate. Say something interesting, have an opinion, have fun with Twitter, and before you know it, you’ll have more followers than you ever imagined. It’s not the quantity of followers; it’s the quality that matters most.
17. If you are going to participate in Follow Fridays, tell us why we should follow someone. Before I continue, I would like to say, I really appreciate people recommending me on Twitter with an #FF. I hope they do this because they feel I am interesting or funny and an asset to the Twitterverse. When you want to recommend fellow Tweeps by giving them an #FF, if you tell me why you think I should, then I probably will. Tweet a huge list, I’ll probably scroll right past, (and you probably do this as well). Sorry, but it’s true. Yes, I realize I may never get another #FF again, but I gotta be honest here.
18.When you first get started on Twitter, stop, look and listen before you dive into the deep end. I like getting new followers who are also new to Twitter. If I can help someone learn the ropes, I feel like I am also contributing to the Twitter community as a whole. So, when you first get started, treat Twitter like a large cocktail party where you don’t know many people. Find the conversations that are interesting and politely butt in to ask questions. Make your questions or comments thoughtful until you learn who these Tweeps are, what kind of opinions they have or jokes they make. Pay attention and you’ll become the life of the party. Ignore this advice and you might find yourself at the punch bowl alone.
19. Count to ten before you jump in. If someone tweets something you do not agree with, whether it’s a political opinion, religious belief, personal trait or just a joke in possible bad taste, sometimes it’s best to just scroll on by and forget about it. Remember, all of the people you follow are PEOPLE. While Twitter fights can be fun to watch, they can be agonizing to be involved in. Followers may take sides and drop you like a hot potato. Unless you feel so strongly about a topic that you absolutely must jump in to rebut a tweet or you’ll explode; remember this - your reputation on Twitter stands and falls by your tweets. Unless you’re just itchin’ for a fight, do yourself and all your followers a favor and at least count to ten before you type.
20. Pay attention to how people respond to your tweets. If you get tons of @ replies that are telling you to STFU, you need to heed that advice. Please, please, please heed that advice and immediately STFU. How much simpler can I make that?
One final note, if you have zero tweets and less than 5 followers and follow hundreds of people, you not only will not be followed back, you will most likely be blocked. That goes for people who only tweet to promote some product or have a feed full of retweets with nothing personal said…Any questions?