With the recent news about members of congress using Twitter during Congressional Sessions, the social network is quickly becoming a household name. Twitter is the fastest growing social networking website, and is becoming a hot place for businesses. Before you start using Twitter, it is important to know a few pieces of Twitter etiquette.


Do

  1. Listen – Before you start following others, listen to conversations happening related to your business.
  2. Follow back – Don’t simply let people follow you and not follow anyone back. It is good to keep your follow-to-following ration fairly even. Remember, Twitter is about two-way interaction. If you don’t follow others, it is difficult to interact with them. If your new to Twitter, don’t feel as though you should follow everyone back – it’s not rude! On the other hand you should follow others who’s tweets you find meaningful and have the same interests as you.
  3. Reply using the @ symbol – Many businesses using Twitter simply broadcast messages but never really engage in conversation. This isn’t the point of Twitter. Be personal and respond to Tweets. Engage in conversation.
  4. Add value to the Twitter community – Help others learn about the area you are an expert in. This may include tweeting advice, or even providing links to interesting articles and useful resources.People don’t join Twitter to hear corporate statements or marketing in a traditional sense.
  5. Learn – Take in what others are saying. Ask questions. There are millions of people using Twitter, and many have interesting things to say. Learn from them.

Don’t

  1. Broadcast – If you are simply pushing out advertisements about your business, no one will listen. This is why faceless advertising doesn’t work. Conversations on Twitter should be two-way.
  2. Auto-Follow – Setting up a system to auto-follow people that follow you is impersonal, and can be interpreted as fake. Remember – you want to follow people that will add value to you.
  3. Tweet about every detail of your life – People don’t really care that you are going to the grocery store. Instead of updated what you are doing every minute, try to add value to conversations happening at the time.
  4. Spam – Even if you have a lot of great information, make sure to space out your Tweets. People get annoyed when they see 10 tweets in a row from the same person.
  5. Be impersonal – While it is important to be professional, make sure you add a touch of personality to your Twitter presence. Businesses are run by people. Make sure you show your personal side.

While it may sound a little silly at first, I’m sure you will find Twitter to be a valuable resource – both in meeting new clients and in learning from others. Happy Tweeting!

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