Twitter Best Practices

Are you a Twitter junkie?  I am. Judge me if you will, but I am obsessed.

Because of this obsession I have become somewhat of a connoisseur of weeding out the bots and spammers from actual people and/or businesses. I've got a case of the Mondays and I can't sit stand Twitter ignorance anymore.

Do not read on if you are easily offended.  You have been warned.

If you display any of the following, I will not follow you back:
  1. No photo: if you are nothing but an egg, you mean nothing to me.  Use a photo of yourself; make it a recent one, too. Photos of celebrity look-a-likes don't count!
  2. No bio: Why should I follow you?  I'm looking for more than a five word description.  What's important to you? What will you be tweeting about?
  3. No tweets: You have 1890 followers and haven't tweeted a single thing? Sketchy at best. 
If your tweets resemble the following, you will not be followed:
  • Links to the same post: you should be proud of your work, but tweeting it more than three times a day is not helping your cause. It's just adding to the noise of my time line.
  • Links to the same website: if every single post is from the same website, I will think you're a spammer.  I don't care if you work for that company; part of being a communicator is spreading all kinds of information, not just the same thing over and over (and over and over).
  • No replies or RTs: if you aren't going to 'talk' to me on Twitter, why would I waste my time on you? There are plenty of awesome tweople out there who will connect with me.
  • Only RTs: there is a better way to spread information.  Do some research.
If you don't have a real photo I probably won't follow you, either. Sure, using your business logo may be fine, but I want to see who is behind the logo. What is your logo going to tell me?  Nothing.

Here are some other suggestions, from my followers' hearts to yours:


  • Do not link your Twitter to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Cater your message to the audience you want to connect with on each site.  A blanket message isn't going to cut it.
  • Asking people to follow you is tacky. Begging for RTs is very unladylike; if the content is worth sharing, I promise to do so.
  • Don't ask for RTs and favors if you don't know the person.  Twitter is about using conversation to create connections.  You wouldn't go up to a stranger on the street and ask them to broadcast your message.  The same rules of etiquette can be applied to all Social Media (not just Twitter). 
  • Not everything you think, eat, say, do needs to be 'said' out loud.

What is missing from this list?  What are your Twitter DO NOTs?

If you need help cleaning up your time line, I suggest Who.Unfollowed.Me (@whounfollowedme) and TwitCleaner (@TwitCleaner). I also participate in #SMManners on Twitter every Tuesday.  Transcripts of the chat are normally available on Friday.

Special thanks to Megan, Josh, Mike, and Ben for your awesome responses!