I once did a guest post on @Juuchini’s blog highlighting the Twitter 101’s back then, on how to interact and for general etiquette. This is not the Twitter Bible, rather my thoughts on what could guide you into a better time interacting with others.
The tips there were about figuring out why you were on Twitter, to Twitter handles, content and grammar. I’m not the authority on Twitter, but having spent some time here, I think it’s time for a second round of how to engage, especially in the Kenyan context.
Read the previous post: Twitter 101
a) Do not hijack mentions!
Eavesdropping is the essence of social media, more so Twitter. By the fact that our timelines are visible to a number of people, information is public and people will have to join in at some point. However, while you can politely jump into a conversation, hijacking mentions so that you can push a link is an absolute no-no! tweet your link to the person you think is interested, instead of mass spamming the people who were having a discussion. On my part, it guarantees that I will not even look at your link. It’s like that Call Rate guy, always showing up where he’s not needed.
Don’t also be a serial ‘Please RT’ person… if your blog/video/picture is great, your audience will read it and keep coming back and then share. Remember the key is content – if your content is shareable and relevant, then it will be RT’d without you needing to ask.
b) Hashtagging and Passing on Links
When #someone makes a #Sentence like #this on #Twitter it looks #JustStupid. Hashtags are like links and when you use too many you litter the tweet. Hashtags are also created to allow conversation to flow and for others to follow, so if you use 20 hashtags, your audience won’t know which one is relevant and will ditch the conversation you’re trying to start as soon as they see your tweet.
Now that we’ve mentioned links, when you do pass on a link, please include a little bit of info about it. Tweets with untitled links, or without some explanation tend to be ignored or even marked as spam… you don’t want to be kicked out of Twitter now, do you?
When someone passes you a link, please, please, read the contents of it first before making assumptions from the title, and making inane comments… there was a reason they passed you the link instead of tweeting you all the info: it’s easier to pass to you the entire article than several tweets!
It is very obvious to see when someone favorites your tweets, thanks to the new Twitter for web. So for those peeps who think that by favoriting they can quietly stalk, think again. Favorites are useful if you mean to read or act on a tweet later, or if you genuinely like the content of the tweet and want to share it with those who might conduct a search on your tweets. Do not misuse that button… you’d be better off copy-pasting them onto Notepad if you’re doing it to stalk the tweep…
d) Handling Brands and Corporates
When you’re handed a corporate account, the client always expects you to match their tone and actions… but the things we have seen here! The best way to work on corporate accounts is to use a separate application than your tweets – so you can use Tweetdeck for corporate, and Gravity on phone for yours. Or web for corporate, and an app for your account. When you start handling multiple accounts it gets tricky, but it’s manageable. Don’t use your corporate handle to tweet personal tweets, questionable content and use inappropriate language.
There’s also the little thing about sponsored tweets – you should always remember that you are a brand, and as a wise person once said, you are the company you keep. Before you align yourself to a brand, think carefully whether the brand represents you or not. It doesn’t always have to be about the money that they throw at you.
e) Airing your relationships-gone-sour on the TL
Ok, we sympathize. He dumped you. She left you for a guy with abs (inspired by today’s conversations)… so what? Do you have to bring out all this on the TL? Unless I am for some reason interested in learning from your experiences, I personally find it naïve to bring your underwear out to dry in public. All you will have is a few sniggers and a whole lot of tweeps talking behind your back. Take it like a man, or woman, and move on without spilling your tears on the TL and bitching. No one likes a whiner. Then again, your next beau could be your follower, and if you keep bitching and whining, they will think that this is how you handle all your relationships….
f) Talking of whiners…
For those who complain on and on about what people choose to tweet, there’s a lovely little button marked ‘unfollow’! You even have choices to mute them further, so feel free to act on it. Nothing as annoying as someone who complains about other people’s conversations, yet they keep reading it. It’s like watching bad TV, and refusing to click and change channels.
Twitter can be fun, and a great source of information, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a few friends. Don’t take Twitter too seriously. Another social media site is bound to pop up, and we’ll all move our lives there.