Twittiquette: The Etiquette of Twitter

woman typing on netbookIn the previous Twitter blogs, we have covered practical topics, such as why your business should be on Twitter, what to tweet for your business, when to tweet, and how to manage your Twitter account. We have also looked at statistic-based topics such as who’s using Twitter and where businesses are seeing results with Twitter. This final entry in the Twitter blog series will conclude with a practical, but fun topic: Twittiquette, or the etiquette of Twitter.

As with everything else in life, there’s a time and place for everything. There are certain ways of communicating that are deemed acceptable for different social situations. The same is true when you’re online.

Just because you’re not talking face to face doesn’t mean you should forget your manners. Here are some general etiquette tips for Twitter:

  • Say Thank You – It’s a general life tip, but on Twitter it means a lot. When someone follows your business, specifically mention them with a “thank you” or a general acknowledgement. Everybody likes to be welcomed when they go somewhere new.
  • Respond to Tweets – Okay, so you don’t have to respond to every single tweet that’s posted in your feed, but you should keep your followers engaged. If any of them ask a specific question directly to you, especially if it relates to your business, you should take the time to reply. No one likes to think they’re being ignored.

General manners are good to follow, but there are also a few important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • DO retweet if it’s interesting, pertinent, and engages your followers.
  • DO check any links you’re posting to make sure they work.
  • DO give credit where credit is due if you’re retweeting.
  • DON’T retweet entire thank you messages. It’s great that someone else welcomed you, but you don’t have to tell the whole world every single time.
  • DON’T constantly fire off tweets, especially many with little or no substance, because that can overwhelm and even annoy followers.
  • DON’T use auto reply messages. While they can help you acknowledge everybody, the standardized messages can feel like Spam.

Finally there are a couple of follower/following tips to keep in mind:

  • It’s okay to unfollow those that aren’t following you.
  • You don’t have to follow everyone that is following you.
  • When you follow someone and they follow you back, don’t unfollow them once you know they’re following you. That’s just plain rude.

Remember that Twitter is more than just fun and interaction with others. You’re trying to establish your business’ presence on Twitter. You’re not only getting the word out about your business, you’re also helping your search engine results because social media is one aspect of good search engine optimization. Twitter can be a very fun medium, so enjoy it—and don’t be afraid to experiment. Just remember that it is also a very effective tool to help with your online reputations management and search engine optimization efforts.

Be sure to stick around because a Facebook blog series is coming up next. Learn why your business should be on Facebook, the numbers behind Facebook, and how to use it effectively to help your business.