Last week, we learned some Twitter etiquette tips for maximum engagement as well as enjoyment. If you missed that post, you can read it here. Today we are going to continue with tips 6 through 10. This comes from my "Twitter Do" list. I am anxious to share this with you so that you can start implementing these into your routine on Twitter.
6. Use cap lock, symbols and exclamation points sparingly.
Before some of you call me out about the exclamation points, I freely admit it! (lol…sorry, couldn't resist) I get excited really easily and that's when I don't pay attention to my punctuation. It's something I have to work on…so learn from me. Use that symbol sparingly.
Additionally, in case you were not aware, WHEN YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS IT MEANS YOU ARE YELLING AT ME AND I WILL UNFOLLOW YOU IMMEDIATELY!! (that needed an !) I realize that some people type in all caps because they think that it will get their post more attention. It will. More than likely, any important, socially savvy, influencers will probably ditch you in a NYC second. Highlighting one word in all caps on occasion I will let you have, but never an entire post. That is bad Twitter etiquette.
Finally, what is up with people who make pretty pictures from symbols or put their content in between hearts and stars and dashes (oh my)? I can't tell you how many times I have refreshed my feed and up pops a tweet like this. It doesn't make me want to attempt to read it. It is plain ole annoying. First time I will let it go, but I'll make a mental note of you. If I see it again…click.
7. Watch it with those hashtags!
I love the hashtag. The hashtag feature for tagging and searching posts was created organically by Twitter users. I think that's cool. It is a helpful, handy feature. It helps me identify like minded people in my niche so that I can follow them or see what they are talking about. It also helps people who may not be following me find me. However, the hashtag abusers are rampant. I could go on and on about this, but instead, allow me to demonstrate:
Are we connected on #Facebook? I share #crafts, #crafttips, #quotes, #videos and more. http://ow.ly/bo8Ej #fb #crafting #mixedmedia #diy
Are we connected on Facebook? I share #craft tips and projects, quotes, videos and more. http://ow.ly/bo8Ej #diy
Which one demonstrates the proper way to use the hashtag? If you said, Example 2, you are correct. What's wrong with the first example? Too many hashtags, first of all. It is really hard to read content that has symbols strewn all throughout. Second issue…in Example 1, I am not thinking about my audience. I am not trying to find Facebook users or people who like to read cool quotes. I am trying to reach crafters and do-it-yourself types. Rule of thumb…2 to 3 hashtags per post (though 1 or two is better) is good Twitter etiquette. More than that is not.
8. Keep it to 140 characters or less.
If you are still composing all of your tweets within Twitter, then you already know that Twitter will not allow you post anything over 140. If you are using a scheduler like HootSuite, you can type as much as you want, but then it will auto-shorten when it posts to Twitter. You have no control over how they are going to shorten it. So be mindful of this fact.
I'd like to make one other point. While not bad form, it is something that you might want to store in the back of your mind. When someone RT your post, Twitter adds "RT @username" to the tweet. If your post is already 130-140 characters, Twitter will auto-shorten. I'm still guilty of this one myself, but have been trying to make a point of leaving a little more wiggle room. Sometimes it just can't be helped. While not disastrous when you are posting content with a link, if it is a long quote you could leave someone hanging. Oh gosh…what if you were telling a joke? 🙂
Oh…just to note…if you post a link, please write something to go along with it that tells me about it's content. It shows that you are thoughtful about your audiences time and it lets me know that you are not trying to spam me.
9. Follow back.
Check them out first, but generally speaking, if they are not going to hurt your business, follow them back. I've had this discussion countless times with misinformed people who believe that if they build their followers to a million people, yet don't follow anyone back that this means you are important. After all, celebrities do that! To put it bluntly….you are NOT a celebrity. Not following back tells people that you don't think they are important and that you don't wish to engage with them. If they are your consumers or clients, this does not send a good message. Building community goes both ways…follow back!
Here are some reasons that I may not follow back:
- They don't have a profile image: I don't follow eggheads. I show myself.
- They don't have a bio: That is the first place I look to see who you are and what you are about. If you didn't take the time to fill out your bio, I won't follow you.
- They use profanity in their tweets: No explanation necessary.
- They are obviously porn: Nuff said!
- The only tweets I see are auto-tweeting from other platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc.: That means to me that they are never on their Twitter feed and won't engage with me anyway. Plus, it is completely annoying. I don't need your Foursquare account telling me your location every 10 minutes….and for goodness sake…I hope you don't owe anyone money!
10. Reply to followers.
It never feels good to be ignored. Never. So don't ignore your followers. Remember those manners? While sometimes one can inadvertently miss a @mention or two…try your best to reply to your followers when they ask a question or make a comment on something you posted. That is what helps build relationships.
Direct messages are the same way. Get in the habit of of checking your DMs a couple of times a day. I check mine either on my smart phone or in HootSuite and reply from those places. I don't, however, reply to autoresponders unless they are asking to connect with me on Facebook. In those instances, I will follow their link to their Fan Page and like them. Then I respond to their Twitter DM to let them know that I liked them and to please like my page back and I include my Facebook link.
If you are thinking that this sounds like a lot of work…and saying in your head, "Really, Theresa? This sounds like it's going to take a lot of time. Tell me when I am going to see some return on this investment." I want you to remember this important point:
"Just like any relationships in life, personal or professional, they take time to cultivate." -me
I would love to hear your feedback. I read and respond to every post personally because you and your success are important to me. That is sincere.