Twitter is one of those social media platforms which marketers and business owners need to pay special attention to. There are a few specific characteristics of sharing content and ideas on Twitter, and engaging with other people. On one hand, you are limited to 140 characters, including links. This means that whatever you have to say, you need to condense it into a few short and powerful words.
On the other hand, you benefit from the unwritten Twitter rule of etiquette that one should follow back accounts. This means that the simplest way of building a followers’ base is by starting to follow various accounts. However, even though you have this freedom to approach anyone, comment on and re-share their content, it does not mean that you are absolutely free to do anything you want. Even private users are warned of minding the rules of etiquette on Twitter. As a business account, you have to be extra careful about your behaviour during all your interactions and in your own posts.
Here are the most important rules of Twitter etiquette you should comply with:
1. Use Proper Spelling
The limitation to 140 characters seems an open invitation for many to use various abbreviations, some of them accepted in internet conversations (such as LOL), others pertaining strictly to slang. Using constructions like “nvm” instead of “never mind”, or “l8” instead of “late” will gain you extra characters for more words in your tweets, but will lose you followers.
Instead of sending a long and barely legible tweet (which would require asking a teenager to decipher it), send a short but meaningful message. It can be funny, inspirational, thought provoking or simply informative – but it has to be easy to read and understand.
2. Don’t Over-Share
When Twitter first came out, people used to share everything they were doing – from being stuck in traffic, to going out of the office for lunch. This over-sharing habit has somehow transferred to company accounts, and certain overzealous marketers or business owners keep sharing posts by the hour. The advisable number of daily tweets for a company is between 3 and 5 and they must be meaningful topics. The only exception to this is when there is an extraordinary event under development and you keep your followers informed on the go of the latest changes in the situation.
3. Don’t Spam
Spamming is extremely unpleasant on Twitter. When someone keeps tweeting you, by including your handle in their message, you are constantly notified of them. How would you like to receive 10 to 20 notifications on your smartphone that someone mentioned you in their tweets? Not very much, right? Then remember the simple rule – don’t do unto others what you don’t like being done unto you – and refrain from spamming your followers with unnecessary mentions.
4. Don’t Steal Content
If you really, really like one tweet and you want to share it with your followers, you can click on the Retweet button and the entire tweet, including the original poster’s name and profile photo will be shared on your page.
The unacceptable way is copying and pasting the tweet without giving credit to the original poster. There won’t be legal consequences for doing this, but it will ruin your reputation on Twitter because this is one social media platform where you are quickly found out in case of plagiarism.
5. Don’t Be Overly Promotional
Twitter is not your free advertising board. Sure, you can promote special offers, you can announce the launch of new product, but for every promotional tweet there should be 3 or 4 informative or entertaining messages without any hidden sales purpose.
Remember that you can lose followers just as easily as you gained them if you break these basic rules of etiquette frequently and consistently. You will probably be forgiven for the first few mistakes, but do not count on that and strive to be a pleasant, friendly and informative presence on Twitter for your followers.