Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Twitter 101


Tweet much? If you do, then this post is for you! Whether you are new to Twitter or a veteran Tweeter, there are some common courtesies you should be aware of whenever you are interacting with folks in the Twitterverse.

Today I did my research for this blog post by asking my Tweeps about their biggest #PetPeeve when it comes to #TwitterEtiquette. Before I reveal to you the biggest Twitter faux pas that people commonly make, I will review some #TwitterBasics, #TwitterTerms, and #TwitterTools that you will find most helpful.

#TwitterBasics

# = Hashtag Use this to identify and search for special topics
RT = Retweet Your Tweets repeated by others
140 = The max number of characters in a Tweet  
            (hint: use less than 140 so ppl can RT)
@ = Mention - One of your Tweeples is tweeting at you!  
           (hint: no space after @ ie. @NewBreedMama)
CAPITAL LETTERS = SSHH! YOU ARE SHOUTING!!
*italics* = Use the * symbol before and after a word for emphasis, OR
                   to symbolize action *blushing*
::Hugs:: = Expression of love and support

#TwitterTerms (and commonly used lingo)
 
MM = Mention Monday #MM
FF = Follow Friday #FF
Wordless Wednesday = Specific to Mommy Bloggers >> Post with Pic Only
Thx4RT! = Thank you for the retweet
WOOT! = Hooray, Yippee, Yahoo
SQUEE = How exciting or "Look at me! I'm a cheerleader!" Lol - you get the picture
LOL = Laughing out loud. If you don't know that one, we may have a wee problem... #JustSayin
LMAO = Laughing my ass off!
ROTFLMAO = Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off!
Shout Out = Acknowledging someone  (ie. Here's a shout out to @MaryBeauty for giving me the idea for this post!)

#TwitterTools

HooteSuite & TweetDeck = Apps to help you tweet more efficiently
Qwitter = Find out who "unfollowed" you
Friend or Follow = Find out if your followers follow back

Lists = Make Lists for ppl you follow the most 

Random Helpful Hint: Those links at the bottom of a tweet - they help you follow the conversation.

That's just some basic information to help you get started with Twitter. Keep in mind that when tweeting in 140 character phrases everything is in shorthand. :) And emoticons are used A LOT. =) If you don't know what something means, feel free to ask. Your tweeples will help you out! My best advice for getting more followers is to join the conversation!!

And with no further ado...

#TwitterEtiquette and #PetPeeves (Faux pas you don't want to make!)

If someone @'s you, do NOT ignore them. I mean, we all know that it can be easy to overlook a tweet here or there, but to CONSTANTLY ignore someone tweeting directly at you - SO not cool. Especially, ESPECIALLY if you tweet with them often!

If you tweet with someone regularly, follow them. Don't be a #TwitterSnob. Nuff said.

Tweet more than just links!! Ok so maybe around 30-40% of your tweets can be links to your site, other sites, you blog, etc. But if ALL you tweet is links, you'll get unfollowed quicker than you can say #FollowFriday.

No spamming! No one wants to follow a spammer.

Auto DM's from TrueTwit... Annoying a hell.

Auto DM's are ANNOYING!! Period. Especially if they are self-promoting links.

Be original! If ALL or MOST of your tweets are RTs no one will pay attention. If you continue to rephrase the same tweets over and over again, BORING!

Follow Back Y'all!! If you create a Twitter Follow Linky, then follow the people that link up, k?

Keep private information private. Common sense people! No weird sex talk, etc. That is the CORRECT use for DMs #WeirdSexTalk.

Don't be an ASSHOLE. Be polite. Be courteous. Be respectful. Once you tweet, it's out there.

Paid Tweets! Ok, I can see the temptation in this. Actually, I am guilty of Sponsored Tweeting (I even have a button on my blog *puts head down*) BUT if ALL of your tweets are SPONSORED - who is going to want to follow you? Really?

Twitter is a fun social networking tool. Just tweet with care & avoid these common faux pas to make the most out of your tweets. And don't forget to HAVE FUN!!

Would love to know your thoughts! Was this article helpful? Did I miss any of your #PetPeeves? Comment below and join the conversation. While you are here, I would love it if you'd take time to follow my blog with GFC and to Follow me on Twitter @NewBreedMama.

21 comments:

Mommy C said...

I completely agree on the sponsored tweet thing...I didn't realize that you did that because I probably would have unfollowed you. :) But, now I have chatted with you and I like you so if you promise that it is only once and a while, I will let it slide. ::Hugs::

Jax said...

Excellent article and I did learn some stuff I didn't know. I am still kinda new and some computer programs -- I have trouble tracking and I screw up a lot. Sometimes bad. This article will help.

One memo: Wednesday for writers is called Writer's Wednesday and it's pretty much the same as Follow Friday only you do it with Writers.

Really good job here!!

Jacqui Jacoby
www.JacquiJacoby.com
Twitter: JaxJacoby
http://jaxsmovielist.blogspot.com

Cindy said...

I think people are way too hard on sponsored tweets! I've unfollowed people for ONLY doing ads, but I don't mind if people try to keep the lights on selling ads a few times a day. Some folks, honestly, don't want anyone to make money at anything. If they unfollow me, I don't much care. I didn't build my followers by spamming, them, though, so I keep it respectful and sparse, just like on my blog.

Kris7 said...

Glad to hear views about sponsored tweets. I'm seriously considering it--thinking it is comparable to commercials on TV. If the channel only offers commercials, you probably won't watch. But if it's a "brief word from our sponsor" then you realize it has a purpose.

Great article! Thanks for the info.

Midwestern Mama Holly said...

Since I'm relatively new to Twitter - I'm really glad you wrote this. Some things on here I did not know. Now I do.
Thanks!

Jamee said...

What a great article! All of these are so true!

mapsgirl said...

Great post!

Here's one of my pet peeves...

Don't forget that if you're going to comment when RTing, uou should put your comment before the RT so you're not putting words in someone else's mouth.

ie. Great post! RT @NewBreedMama ....

Mama B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama B said...

Wow- I'm a twoser. but what about lists? those lose me.

Lindsay Williams said...

Great discussion guys! People seem to be passionate about the sponsored tweets - either for it or against it, not much in between. Glad the article is helpful to everyone who's new to Twitter.

Mapsgirl - Know what you mean about the RTs!
Bonnie - I should do better with my lists, but I don't use them much.. What's a twoser??

Carly said...

Love this article. Great info. Most of these things I have had to ask (bug all of you) my twitter peeps about at one point or another. I'll be sure to direct any newbie Twitter folks to this post.
Carly

Mama B said...

lol- Twoser- a Twitter loser! (b/c I do so much on your NO list!) haha

Missy @ Wonder, Friend said...

Oops. I use all caps sometimes. ;)

Busy Working Mama said...

Good tips!

Ebatte said...

Ok. FINE! I got rid of TrueTwit. Now I gotta do all my following manually! lol

Mary with Verseo said...

Thanks for the post and for the shout out :)! I'm still learning but find Twitter friends are very quick to help out which is so nice. It's a surprisingly friendly cyberworld.

Sounds like your next post needs to be about sponsored tweet/blog thing. Here's my candid take on sponsor thing (if you do a post I'll comment more, I'm wordy like that since kids don't listen...).

I'm a normal mom/wife/person that happens to have a job as a "Social Media" rep for a company. Honestly, it's the coolest job in the world when done right (and ummm not a lot of money so don't get jealous). Yes I make tons of mistakes but I'm trying.

Just like most sane people, I personally don't like to be sold or have things in your face so I do get it. From the company's perspective, it's harder and harder to be where your customers are especially if you don't have the bucks of the big brands. With so many not watching TV, not reading their email and just go-go-go, how can you get your message out about your product that a customer may actually care to consider?

I personally really like to follow blogs and tweets from an entertainment perspective. I don't watch TV (except for Mad Men, don't ask oh, and PBS Kids, Noggin, etc...zzzz). And obviously I'm not alone.

So if you have some great topics, are super personable so that people want to hear what you have to say and you are truly engaging, why not work with companies that may truly embrace your essence?

So if you are organic-only mom that has a deep passion for that and so do your followers, having Krispy Kreme sponsor you may not make sense but TONS of organic companies would be very happy to work with you.

So I'd say, just as long as you don't totally pimp yourself out thereby losing your essence, its OK to be sponsored. Companies like mine have dollars that they need to use creatively to help build their business and want to work with someone that wants to be a partner.

This type of marketing is honestly for the most part tremendously small, doesn't convert great and is incredibly hard to scale. But when it does catch, it helps to build a brand. So you may not get tons of sales, you may end up getting something better - loyalty.

OK, final point. I used to work for a large PC company on their web team. The kind that had entire divisions just for every aspect of the web. Now I work for tiny one.

Both had one thing in common, they are still trying to figure this all out. Tiny one has little money but can be nimble and learn as you go. If they make a social media mistake, usually not legally catastrophic. Big one has the money but slow to move with meetings and processes and the need to be careful for their shareholders. But the desire from both is definitely there.

So as a blogger, do what you do best, be real and if an opportunity comes along, carefully consider how it defines you. If so, don't be afraid to work with it. You have a lot more voice than you think.

OK, must stop rambling...sorry Lindsay :-).
Thanks for letting me vent
@marybeauty

~*Jess*~ said...

This is great Twitter etiquette for newbies (and all of us)! I love it!

Lindsay Williams said...

I love the response I am getting on this post!!

Bonnie - Twoser! ha! That's a new one. Funny how you can put TW in front of any word and it becomes a Twitter-ism!

Missy - All caps to get your point across is ok, just not all the time!

Ebatte - We thank you for disabling the TrueTwit Validation! ;)

Mary- Great insight from a PR perspective. You are great at your job! Thanks for commenting!

Jess - I don't proclaim to be an expert b/c I am still so knew at this too! But this is just a list of the stuff I know bugs people. :)

Becky @ Our Peaceful Home said...

I really like this article. I hate those stupid auto DM's too! Ahhh! So annoying! Oh and Truetwit, it never works. Rather not follow you if I have to be validated!

The Newsham's said...

I'm new to Twitter and totally needed this! Thanks!!

Jennifer
Living a Changed Life

Sluiter Nation said...

ok, I read this and came back to read the comments and realized I never commented!

I know I was the one who told you that paid tweets suck. I should qualify that. I really don't mind them if they are GOOD (meaning your followers would be interested) and you actually have a personality and don't JUST do paid tweets.

You, my dear? Do not over-do the paid tweets. At all. Ever.

Love you! :)

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