I know it’s been said before that there are no rules to using Twitter, but I beg to differ because some people still don’t understand how to properly use the medium. I do understand there is a learning curve to Twitter. We’ve all had to figure out how to best use Twitter personally or for our brands. At some point everyone should probably rely less heavily on the bots and actually engage with people. In my opinion, that’s the best way to go.
Here are a few rules I think everyone should abide by. It’s just my opinion, though. It’s a free country and you can do anything you’d like, but don’t expect to be the most liked person on Twitter.
1) Don’t send spammy auto-DMs to everyone who follows you. They are annoying. Period.
2) Don’t DM people with virtual gifts like sunshine, hugs, and smiles. They are annoying.
3) Don’t @ scores of people out of the blue in hopes they will follow you. Chances are they won’t.
Now, the aforementioned are rules I live by and think work best on Twitter. I’ve had a Twitter account since 2007 so I do know of what I speak.
Here are a few Twitter practices I think work best for users. Of course, you can take them or leave them, but this is the approach I think works best.
1) Don’t rely too heavily on bots, especially those that post your blog updates. I’m sure you’ve seen ten posts in a row from someone who is auto-feeding their blog posts to Twitter. That doesn’t look great and turns people off. Well, it turns me off.
2) Follow those who follow you. I think it’s common courtesy to follow people who follow you. I know there are varying philosophies about this. I just believe it helps build your community faster!
If you are tweeting on behalf of a brand, there is no excuse not to follow everyone who follows the brand because those followers are current or potential customers. Yes, you will have to make judgement calls, but the only people you shouldn’t follow back are spammers, bots, and competitors.
3) Respond to as many @s as possible. I know it is impossible to respond to everyone who responds to one of your tweets, but it’s nice to make the attempt. People have limited time in a day and if they choose to spend just a moment to talk to you I think it’s courteous to talk back.