11 Things to Avoid When Using Twitter

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148 Responses

  1. Urzay G says:

    Very informative.
    In regards to #8 though, I answer as many of the new followers by way of DM so are you saying that this is wrong? My words actually are varied for each follower. I say things like thank for the follow “their name” if they’ve listed it, and I usually check out their W/S or Blog and make a comment about it, again only if they’ve provided this information. On the other hand I just say thanks for following and leave it at that because I believe that those people are only there for themselves.
    I have just followed you in Twitter too BTW.
    AKA FreshRoasted
    AKA Urzay G.

  2. David Reese says:

    I admit that I have broken probably 9 out 11 of these rules above when a newby to twitter. I agree with most, but feel I get very ample results from my Auto DM on new followers, but want to add that it only works if you send them something meaningful and not a sales pitch.

  3. Tom Pick says:

    Very nice list and excellent advice. What amazes me is how so many people can break all of these rules and still appear to be Twiterati. You might want to take a look at my recent most on the same topic, How to Suck at Twitter (and Still Look Successful): http://webmarketcentral.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-suck-at-twitter-and-still-look.html

  4. Ryan Beale says:

    Great information here for Twitter Newbies! I have definitely broken a few of these rules and have been on twitter for over 1 year now. I recently wrote a blog post that compliments yours: “How To Identify Quality and Relevant Twitter Users:” http://rbeale.com/social-media-marketing/twitter-followers-how-to-identify-quality-and-relevant-twitter-users/

    I would love your feedback if you have a few minutes.



  5. This is a great list you have compiled, it should be a must read for newbie Twitterers.

  6. I agree with all of the above except for the language one.
    That point can only be valid in an environment where the dominant language is English.
    Although bilingual, I live and work in the Netherlands, and our daily language is Dutch. So we tweet in Dutch mostly, unless communicating internationally.
    The point should be, therefore, perhaps not to mix languages in your twitter. A seperate account for each language? If I wanted to go international and Tweet in English I think that is what I would do.

  7. Charles Flemming says:

    Loved the list. Very useful advice. Even if I don’t adopt one or more of the points, at least it educates me on some of the dynamics involved in choosing.

    Sorry, but I am deeply amused–because of its context–by a spelling error in #10.

    It’s like stuttering over the word inarticulate.

  8. Excellent list! Good reminders for us all. Interesting to see “Twitter Protocol” beginning to emerge.

  9. hilzfuld says:

    Cannot thank you all enough for reading and sharing your nice comments. So glad you liked the post. Would be happy to connect on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hilzfuld

  10. Gary S. James says:

    YES YES YES I constantly wonder where these “Social Media Experts” have come from. I have ascertained, like pyramid schemes, the people “making good money” from social marketing are the people selling the webinars touting “making good money as a social media expert.” Thanks for the good info.

  11. Great list for folks to have as a guideline for starting to use twitter.

    I’ve always thought Facebook as a family and friends site and twitter as a whole world site.

    I agree on the direct messages especially the most common ones that are selling a service. I suppose I’m so used to them that I might be missing real DMs because I skim my DMs.

  12. Lance says:

    #12, don’t accidentally post a personal tweet on your business page. Your business’ followers don’t need to know that you love going to Subway with your wife. (like many things in life, this was learned the hard way :)

  13. Dr Paradise says:

    Well, OK, some good thoughts, nothing is perfect. Since I am partially blind and my computer corrects most of my mistakes and changes some words to mean something else from time to time, I may feel a little embarrassed for having mess-spelled a word here and there. I too enjoy writing people of other languages and my computer will translate anything and everything to a degree that I can understand my friends from around the world. The Google Translator is free. Oh, yes, I might comment. I am an anti-social media expert, but I assure you, it is not intentional.

  14. Thanks for this information. I received my first direct-reply message thanking me for following someone about a week ago. I thought I was remiss in some sort of Twitter etiquette, so I started direct messaging people that started following me thanking them for doing so. I will quit doing that. Thanks for the heads-up.

  15. Dylan says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us! I think many people who read this often make mistakes, including me. I do think that this a process we will have to go through and in the future Twitter will be better used.

    I do think that you missed out on the goal of using Twitter. A lot of people I know use Twitter to communicate with their friends. So if that is your only goal I think the language does not really matter.

    I am curious about your next blogs!

  16. Excellent list! As you pointed out you learnt this the hard way and that’s the best way to ‘get’ Twitter. I’m all for keeping it real, organic growth and keeping the ‘social’ in Social Media.

    You definitely treat Twitter differently to Facebook and should invest more time. Twitter = network building; Facebook = to nurture and strengthen that network, and LinkedIn = credibility …that’s my successful Social Media recipe. :-)

  17. Jason Burton says:

    Great and easy to follow Twitter basics here. Nice job.

    Twitter isn’t for everyone but there are a lot of people out there that can use this tool to educate and entertain others, but they won’t even give it a try due to their preconceived opinion.

    I personally hope that Twitter sticks around for a few more years. I get all of my initial news from Twitter and that leads me into searching for more details if I’m interested in the topic. I love it. The strategy of my tweets are to write about beverages and beverages only.

    Thanks again for your tips.

  18. dem says:

    Best HOW-TO use Twitter article. Really



  19. Mohey says:

    Thanks for the great Topic.

  20. Z'da says:

    good points … I also don’t like the ‘auto-follow’ and ‘auto-DM’ thanking people. Thank you for confirming my beliefs.

    as well, i have always said people should refrain from using ‘expert’ and much less ‘guru’ as these 2 terms are soooo damn over used. I c people with a few thousand followers and they are ‘Social Media Gurus’ and I say, ‘huh’ … IMHO, ‘guru’ is a spiritual term and should be respected in this manner.

    thanks again for sharing your views :-)

  21. Totally agree on the auto-follow. Heck, I’d rather have 100 followers who read what I have to say than 50,000 who just don’t care.

  22. Your post is fantastic. Thank you! You have kindly outlined all basic “Etiquette Rules on Twitter” and I agree with all of them. The reason I called it “etiquette rules” because you provide the reasons “why” and also explain the outcomes… Twitter should be treated as a working medium to learn, grow, and share the best ideas, practices, and experiences. Thanks again for respecting our time and giving your fellow-twitters their daily lesson on how to tweet in style!

  23. Kathy Romo says:

    Wow am I actually the only comment to your great writing?!?

  24. Michelle says:

    Thank you for putting this list together. You’ve helped clear up a good amount that I was wondering, especially the DM thank you piece. :)

  25. Megan says:

    These tips are awesome & I couldn’t agree more. I really admire how you write from a Twitter user’s perspective and not from a “holier than thou” point of view. I’ve grown more and more frustrated by people telling me how to use Social Media without actually seeming like they use it themselves. Your articles (which I found today from an Alltop tweet) are great, and I wish you a ton of success (not like you need it!).

  26. RobbyDesigns says:

    Great article with some brilliant advice that I will point my clients to. Thanks for your time and advice.

  27. Jimmytwohats says:

    “I have read that U.S. users are less than 50% of Twitter’s users. It’s an international communication tool. You choose who to follow, it’s up to you to follow only English speakers if your language skills are limited to English. It’s too bad you won’t be able to converse with people from other countries by learning their language.”

    Um, ye, 50% are in the US. What about … I don’t know … England? Australasia, South Africa and many of the English-as-a-second language countries such as India and Holland.

    The point is, if you want lots of international followers, then use English. But sure, if you only follow German tweeters and you’re German, then obviously speak German. I think that’s kind of obvious.

    I would have probably had this rule down as ‘Use the appropriate language for your purposes’, rather than highlight English.

    But ye, English isn’t only spoken by Americans, hence the name, ‘English’.

  28. Ruth says:

    I raise my hand up in the air and hang my head in utter shame….. I joined twitter about 2 months ago and broke every rule, I just had no idea how one was to get people to interact with me. I first tweeted Hi …. but no response, I thought it was not working (stupid huh). Any ways have purchased twitter for dummies and it should be arriving in the next few weeks and will begin to mend my ways. I wish twitter would pay attention to what you write as I has most certainly opened my eyes and I will be taking your advise to heart and start sorting my twitter page out. Any one who is new to twitter needs advise on what to do and what not to do …. look what happened to me.

    Ruth (South Africa)

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