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TWITTEQUETTE – Twitter Etiquette

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In our book Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs by ETP founder, Rod Colon, chapter 10 covers the importance of Social Networking.  The explosion of social media and social networking web sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook demands that those in the race for 21st century jobs remain well-connected. Networking makes my system work; social networking sites are places to make new connections.

TWITTEQUETTE – Twitter Etiquette

By Adelaida A. Rodriguez, PMP, Lamplighter Editor-in-Chief, Professional member since 2008

Twitter is a free micro-blogging tool that allows users to share short messages (140 characters or less) with their friends, family and colleagues through their computers and mobile phones. People ‘follow’ users whose tweets they enjoy or interest them. Twitter allows you to network with like-minded people and effectively connects you to business contacts. Twitter can be a great tool for networking, building relationships, and promoting blogs. Twitter can help you look for someone to help you with your blog or business (or both), seek a new job, or communicate ideas with your business peers.

Businesses also use Twitter to promote products and services and offer real-time customer service. Twitter users should know that there are certain things that should not be ‘tweeted’. In order to avoid annoying your Twitter ‘followers’ and attract ‘new followers,’ use the following Twitter etiquette tips as a guideline for creating interesting and useful tweets.

1. Keep personal conversations private

  • You can post personal tweets and @replies on Twitter, but remember that everyone can see your tweets. Be discreet and keep your private information private, either send a direct message or communicate outside of twitter entirely.

2. Refrain from talking just about yourself

  • Although Twitter is a good place for self-promotion, too much self-promotion is not a good thing. Your tweets need to include a good mix of self-promotion, conversation, information sharing, etc. Otherwise, people will think you don’t care about them or building relationships. Your Twitter stream will look like nothing more than a list of links and ads.

3. Give Credit where credit is due

  • Never take credit for an idea, topic, link, opinion, etc. if you got it from someone else. Use the @reply and retweet features in Twitter to give credit where credit is due. Attribution is just as important on Twitter as it is on blogs.

4. Use a link shortener

  • Super long links in a Twitter update are just plain annoying. Take the extra 5 seconds to use a URL shortener. Both you and your followers will be glad you did.

5. Avoid automated services

  • Automated Twitter updates, automated responses that thank new followers, and so on are annoying and can be viewed as ‘spammy’. Since they require no thought or effort, they aren’t useful in building relationships either.

6. Watch your language

  • Remember, anyone can see your tweets. Don’t forget your good manners. They apply on Twitter, too.

7. Don’t start flame wars

  • Healthy debate is one thing, but flame wars and arguments are another thing entirely. Keep these types of conversations out of your Twitter stream.

8. Block spam followers

  • Help make the Twitter experience better for everyone by blocking spam followers (you’ll know who they are when you see them).

9. Don’t tweet too much

  • There is such a thing as over-tweeting. Make your Twitter updates interesting and useful. Link to a page with important information, talk about something new and exciting. No one needs to know routine aspects of your life.

10. Keep it short.

  • Tweets are restricted to 140 characters for a reason. Don’t rant on about something in multiple tweets. If you have something that important to say, write a blog or an article, post it to your site, and then just link to it from your tweet.

11. Sending personal information

  • NEVER post personal information like a phone number, email address or social security number over ANY public forum.

12. Keep text slang to a minimum

  • If your tweets are aimed at people who are not well versed, ‘R u’, ‘u r’ are generally OK as they are commonly accepted shorthand and read phonetically. Not everyone though understands more complicated slangs.

13. Thank each of your new followers

  • It’s a nice concept to thank each of your new social media connections, but keep in mind how many responses you’re sending out each day or within a 10 minute period.

14. Correcting a mistake

  • Correct a mistake that you’ve identified in someone’s blog post or “tweet.” (This isn’t required, but it is considered a common courtesy. The person who made the mistake will thank you.)

15. Help promote other people

  • A great way to build relationships and ensure your Twitter stream isn’t just about you is to promote other people, too. Share links to articles and blog posts you enjoy. Retweet interesting updates. Join conversations and answer questions.  Twitter success is rooted in conversations and relationships.

Susan Gunelius, About.com C. G. Lynch – Connections
Idiot’s Guide to Twitter
FROM UPRIGHT COMMUNICATIONS BY: Allison Kulage on Thursday, October 9th, 2008

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