I think it’s no secret that I love social media. I check my Instagram feed more times a day than I’d like to admit, I try to share articles daily on my blog’s Facebook page to engage my readers, and I love connecting with people on Twitter the most. I’ve met a lot of amazing people on Twitter that I never otherwise would have met and it alone has provided me with some amazing opportunities in my life and for my blog. Over my years of tweeting, I’ve learn some tips and tricks and definitely have my own personal list of dos and do nots that I would like to share. Take them as you will!
Own your identity by using your real name, a real picture of you and by filling out your bio. I understand the decision to want to be more private in such a public forum, but in all honesty if you don’t have 2 of the 3 of these items on Twitter, I’m probably not going to follow you. I want to connect with you on a personal level, so tell me where you’re from too! I don’t typically care for pseudonyms (though I can appreciate the need for work privacy or family privacy at times), I want to see who you are in your avatar so that when you come up to me at a conference and intro yourself as “so and so from Twitter” I don’t have a picture of a tractor linking you to your Twitter account. (And for the love of Twitter, get rid of the egg avatar!). I will look like a deer in headlights, it’s happened many times before! You can also tag people and use hashtags in your bio too.
Start your tweet with words, or put a “.” before the handle. You’ve probably often seen a tweet with a period character before the handle. This is because if you start a tweet with a person’s Twitter handle, only the people who are also following said person on Twitter will view your tweet. This is often why I reply to a tweet by starting with words first so that everyone can see it, not just our mutual followers. See how I replied to @tvchick13CTV with a “.” before her handle?
.@tvchick13CTV I'm a farm wife & blogger, absolutely will not support Whole Foods.Great if they source some local,but their message is wrong
— Sarah Schultz (@NurseLovesFarmr) February 16, 2015
When in a conversation with multiple persons tagged, please untag those who are not participating. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve not opened Twitter all day and I have DOZENS of notifications from tweets that I’m not even a part of. Often it’s only 2 people exchanging tweets, but they still end up tagging all people in the original convo. Common courtesy—if people aren’t partaking in the Twitter convo, please untag them and/or take your convo privately.
@foodbabeway can you please untag me from this conversation, thanks 🙂
— Sarah Schultz (@NurseLovesFarmr) February 12, 2015
Don’t get upset at anyone on Twitter for tweeting to you. Again, I cannot tell you how many times people get upset for the act of responding to tweets. Perhaps they misunderstand that unless your tweets are set to private, we can all see them and we all have the right to respond—Twitter is a public forum. If you use a hashtag (searchable term), don’t get mad at people for engaging with you, that’s exactly what hashtags are for. If you want a private conversation, DM each other or take to emails. Harassment and bullying is another story—mute or block.
— Sarah Schultz (@NurseLovesFarmr) February 12, 2015
Mute or block accounts that annoy, harass, or bully you. You don’t have time to deal with this negativity, surround yourself with positive people. People will judge you for it and talk behind your back, it’s best to ignore it and not waste your energy. Case in point, a pseudonym and a chronic harasser that I’ve blocked:
— Dr. Ena Valikov (@beachvetlbc) January 17, 2015
Remember: everyone can see what you tweet, nothing is private, it will live forever. Yet another reminder that Twitter is a public forum. I cannot stress this enough, as so many people seem to forget this. Tweets have the potential to live forever because of screenshots. Many many people have gotten fired over 140 characters, just think: is it REALLY worth it? Sometimes it’s best to sit on things and let the feelings pass before you hit “tweet”.
Be kind, treat others as you want to be treated. Playing off of the last tip, in our highly social media-ized world, potential employers, brands and companies will do social media screenings before hiring and working with you (see above). I understand that a lot of people use Twitter as a venting outlet to be snarky and to blow off some steam—I’m guilty of this at times myself. But, be mindful that brands & companies will screen you, so watch what you tweet if you’re wanting to work with them. Try hard to just be kind on Twitter, or fear the repercussion of being quoted and labeled as a certain kind of person (even if they twist it for their own agenda). I use the rule: “tweet as if grandma were watching”. I don’t swear much in real life as it is, so I strive to keep it clean online too.
— Karla Sunderland (@karlaonthefarm) February 17, 2015
Your phone contacts know you have Twitter. If your Twitter is connected to your smart phone (iPhone anyway) you will get a notification any time one of your contacts joins Twitter, whether they like it/know it or not. I’ve seen people I know join Twitter when they think it is anonymous and…not so much! Again, just be weary of your online presence, being anonymous is harder than you think!
- Make lists to organize and keep up with your favourite groups and tweeps
- Spell check (but we’re all victims of autocorrect!)
- Some users absolutely hate when bloggers share “old posts” on Twitter, but I say do what makes you happy. I have a plugin (Tweetily) that randomly tweets old blog posts of mine every 6 hours and I get a lot of traffic from my old posts that are tweeted so I like it!
- Some users don’t like when Facebook content is shared on Twitter as it is a “completely different audience”. I can appreciate that thought, I selectively share my Facebook posts on Twitter and any blog posts I share the “fb.me” links directly to my blog, not to my Facebook page
- Don’t quote tweet too much. This is a new, personal annoyance of mine. There are some accounts that quote tweet EVERYTHING. Once in awhile, fine. Every single tweet? Unfollow from me.
Would you add any other tips?