Twitter is a brilliant way to communicate with friends, customers and business contacts. The only problem is.. twitter also makes it really easy to make an absolute tit out of yourself on the internet in-front of friends, customers and business associates. These rules are mine.. they will hopefully help you get followers, not annoy people and not piss-off any Iranian revolutionaries.
Don’t go mad with #hashtags
A well placed hashtag can get your tweet tagged along with a trending topic and get you more views and followers, but be careful what you #hashtag. There was a case a few years ago where the furniture shop Habitat got into a bit of trouble when they started punting furniture offers via the Iranian revolution hashtag. Yeah, that didn’t go down well.
You don’t have to follow everybody that follows you
A quick way to get a twitter feed full of crap is to start following anybody and everybody that follows you. Some dodgy business twitter accounts looking to grab followers will use a “pump and dump” technique where they will follow accounts and kick up a fuss about a “follow back” till you follow them back. Be careful who you are associated with on twitter – users can see who you follow and will judge you on it.
Don’t retweet everything
Retweets are a very quick way to piss off your followers, especially if you’re re-tweeting the same old twonk as everyone else. Pick your re-tweets wisely.
Don’t mix business and pleasure on accounts
If your twitter feed is mostly site updates from the company blog or discount announcements for customers – don’t tweet a picture of what you’re eating for dinner. This works both ways, don’t bombard your friends and family with boring business updates. It’s often difficult to combine a successful business and personal twitter presence on the same account.
Be careful when syncing your social feeds
Have you got your instagram synced to your tumblr, which auto-posts to your twitter, which is then synced to your Facebook feed. Aaagh.. this is a sure fire way to get me to unfollow someone on twitter. You post a picture of your dog eating an ice cream on instagram and and my phone, facebook, tumblr and email goes bleeping berserk. It’s cool that you want to share stuff on social media, but do you have to sync everything into one big social media clsuterfuck.
Drunk tweets are bad for business
I remember watching an episode of 8 out of 10 cats where Jimmy Carr asked Sean Locke why he isn’t on twitter. Sean Locke’s reply was something along the lines of “I like to get drunk, therefore I don’t use twitter”. This is good advice. If you’re a small business owner there’s a big chance you’re using twitter for business – don’t be a dick and be careful what you tweet.
Watch out for “tweet this” buttons on porn sites
We’ve all seen the buttons and thought “Why the hell would anyone want to tweet about the video that’s currently tickling their pickle on Youporn” Well, be very careful where you click. The last thing you want to be sharing with all your valued customers and important business contacts is you’ve just watched “Fat and Hairy 3” or “Cucumber Loving Milf”. – Yeah, they’re real video titles.