But it’s only as valuable as the quality of the people you surround yourself with and the conversations you maintain. Like any gathering, it has it’s own version of etiquette (or “Twitterquette” – kudos to whoever came up with that word!). Think of it like a dinner party or business event – you chat with people, follow the conversation, see how you can add to it, have fun, and learn something.
A useful site to evaluate your followers – and yourself – on Twitter is The Twit Cleaner: http://thetwitcleaner.com/
Here’s their quick rundown on bad “Twitterquette” – behavior that will get you “unfollowed.” Do you see yourself in any of these?
1. You engage in potentially “dodgy” behavior, posting:
- nothing but links
- few or no retweets (RT)
- few or no acknowledgments of sources “@”s
- identical tweets
2. You’re inactive: you’ve been absent from Twitter for more than a month.
3. You don’t interact with anyone:
- you’re self-obsessed – you talk about yourself more than 50% of the time
- you’re a snob – you follow back fewer than 10% of your followers
- you’re not there – you use a feed for your tweets (e.g. Twitterfeed, Facebook)
4. You talk too much…like over 20 tweets a day.
5. You post little original content.
If you do some of these things – and we’ve all done them from time to time – then it’s relatively simple to fix: do the opposite. Schedule 10 minutes a day to stop by Twitter and see what is in your feed. Retweet what you find interesting. Acknowledge what others are saying by using their Twitter handle (@________) in your response, if appropriate. Post original content. You get the idea. It’s not hard, just basic conversational common sense, albeit in a new medium.
Do you have suggestions on being a good Twitter Citizen? Or other useful resources for Twitter best practices? Please share below – and happy Tweeting!
© 2011. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without written consent from the author, Moira Hill.