I feel strongly about not making too many rules about social media. The very nature of social media is that it isn’t rigid. It’s dynamic, fluid, personal…social! Still, it also seems to be the breeding ground of opportunistic takers-of-advantage. As a result, there have to be a set of guidelines; things that reign us all in from being irritating or inappropriate. And, for those of us with services and products that we’d like to promote in a legitimate way, these guidelines are helpful, rather than restrictive. Here’s my two-cents’ worth on how to tweet “properly”:
Don’t DM New Followers With a Generic Thank You
This is unnecessary and becomes annoying because it’s often used as a premise for asking your new follower to buy your product / follow another page / subscribe / whatever. It’s not personal (which was, presumably, the intention of sending a DM) and it’s thoroughly transparent. I feel used.
The same goes for sending links via DM. Nothing puts followers off faster and harder than feeling spammed by your account. They’ll hit that Unfollow button just as fast and hard.
Be Discerning About Who You Follow
Keep the ratio of followers:following reasonable. If you follow 23 000 people and have exactly 14 followers, I get suspicious and I don’t take you seriously. This is something that is considered in your rankings too, so don’t bulk up your numbers by following every page you can find. In addition, this will clutter your feed and dilute the possibility of having access to relevant, useful tweets.
Keep Your Tweets Short
I know, there’s not much option here as there’s a 140-character limit. But, I mean keep them short enough so that, if they’re retweeted, there’s space for your handle to be included.
Don’t overtweet just to get your voice out there. Filling feeds with lots of the same or similar content is boring (including competitions and giveaways). This goes for retweeting old content and blog posts too. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing this from time to time and when it’s relevant. But, try to keep your feed fresh and current.
Engage with people, comment, acknowledge useful content, thank followers for compliments. Give a little to get a little. Don’t bad-mouth anyone else and don’t slate products. It’s my personal opinion that swearing should be left out of Twitter feeds too. Just be nice and make yourself easy to follow.