There’s the good side of Twitter — the ability to find interesting news stories, see blog posts, and catch the latest celebrity gossip. It’s easy to interact and engage in conversation with friends, local business, and even big brands. But then there is the bad side, where people just don’t seem to get how to use Twitter right. Even after explaining the basics of Twitter etiquette, some people still seem to just do it wrong. When it comes down to the basics, here are five things you should just not do on Twitter:
Don’t Use a Photo of Someone / Something Else. In other words, be authentic. If you’re tweeting from your personal account, use a picture of your face so people can recognize you. Using a picture of a car, a cartoon, a celebrity, or anything other than you defeats this purpose. MySpace style pictures of your face are not allowed, either. Not only are they so 2008, but you can’t see your face very well, either.
Don’t Make a Vague Bio Your bio on Twitter is a great way for people to understand you better. More importantly, it is also a great way for other people to find you. Packing your Twitter bio with keywords that highlight your interests and involvement in your community will direct like-minded users to your profile if and when they search for the same things via Twitter search.
Don’t Ignore Friday Follows. If you’ve been on Twitter for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably been included in a #FF — or Friday Follow. This is a weekly trend on Twitter where Twitter users recommend to their followers a group of people to follow. After your ego deflates, make sure you follow back the other users you were included with. #FF recommendations are usually grouped together because of similar interests. Use your #FF inclusions to find others like you on Twitter — and the #FF is an easy way to break the ice and start conversation, especially if you’ve never interacted before.
Don’t be Spammy. Some Twitter users actively seek other Twitter users they have never met or interacted with before and spam them with @mentions or @replies to solicit business. You can spot these people because they typically have no followers. This is rude and no better than knocking on a stranger’s door during dinner-time in an attempt to sell knives, vacuums, or religion. If you’re a business and have targeted a certain demographic on Twitter that may be interested in your business, engage with their existing conversation to build rapport to generate organic interest in your product or service.
Don’t Auto DM. You have likely received an Auto Direct Message from someone in response to following them on Twitter. The auto DM usually goes something like this:
“Thank you for following us! Please join us on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/9CjrVH and visit our website: http://documentaries.org”
Auto DMs are impersonal and usually ask you to click on more links and read more about ME! ME! ME!. Don’t do this, because it’s generally ignored, also seems spammy and makes you look like you don’t want to listen to anybody else right off the bat. One example of a good way to use auto DMs is to thank your followers for the new follow by DMing with a coupon. Popular burgers-n-beer chain Gordon Biersch does this well with its auto DM, which offers new followers a coupon in a DM when you follow it.