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!

Digital roam

For some reason, the discontinuance of Goog-411 hit me hard.  (For those unfamiliar with this service, it was Google's free information service that would ask you for city, state, and desired location; it would connect you or text you information.)

Although I didn't use this service frequently Goog-411 got me what I needed whenever I asked.  Connect me to the nearest pizza place still open for delivery at 2 AM Goog!  Not a problem, I'll connect you.  Call me a cab service Goog -- I can't see straight enough to dial!  No judgment, I'll connect you.  What robot voice is going to help me now?  I feel like my prom date just stood me up.

Yes, I realize calling information is similar to connecting on dial-up and nowadays there is an app for that; but what about the poor bastards like myself who do not own a smart phone and do not have an app for that?  Where is the justice?  Where is the compassion?  Where oh where has my little dog gone?

Is it possible to remain analog in a digital world?

I love (love, love, love) technology and progress ... but at what cost?  With anything and everything available at our fingertips 24/7, are we losing our ability to wait (apparently good things happen to those who do) and focus on a single task?  The answer is yes.

The average high school student will have five, yes five, applications running at any one time while using a computer.  Multi-tasking is now required in our society.  I know it's all fun and games with multitasking (look how many things I can do at once: check e-mail, chat, tweet, and keyword search as I'm talking to you!) but how much is too much?

We are already losing the ability to focus on a single task until completion.

Don't believe me?  I dare you try and do one thing to completion without stopping to check something else.  Double dog dare you, actually.  TRIPLE DOG dare you.  Living in an 'I want it now' society has its perks but we should be considering the unforeseen effects of having it all, whenever, wherever.