Twitter is one of those networks that you will see just about anything. People from all around the world meet, greet, and learn from each other each and every day. Each part of the world has their own set of customs and manners. This is no different than on Twitter itself. There are mistakes and innocent goofs, and deliberate acts of rudeness committed everyday by people on Twitter. On the whole people try to be civil and act as they should in polite twitter company.

It is often the innocent and mistaken Faux Pas that happen are from people new to twitter or even now to the internet. Yes there are still 60% of the world’s population that has not been on the internet. So it is often new folks that make these mistakes, but then there are some internet marketers that blatantly use rude tactics so that they are noticed in their selling of their wares, goods and services. So what are some of the bigger more blatant breaches of Twitter Protocol?

Don’t Repeat Yourself, Don’t Repeat Yourself, Don’t Repeat Yourself

Twitter is often look at now as an information curation site. The information that is shared is quickly washed away in the fire hose of the Twitter stream. Especially if you are following hundreds or even thousands of people. So it is easy for your information to only last for a few seconds. Your followers may often have the same issue so it is easy to think that the best way to be seen is to say the same thing over and over and over. No, it is a big mistake. And will cause your followers to become tired and even irritated by your message. When they see it over and over. If your fans feed is full of your one message, then your followers will view your expertly crafted message as being tiresome, and are going to unfollow you. Even if you mix it up with a slight change of a word here or there it is still going to drive people away. Look at television. What happens when the station has a glitch and it plays the same commercial over and over? That message on the TV will drive you to yell at your television, or change the channel. This is not what the Advertiser is after.

So if you want to have a specific message shared the mix it up. Rephrase that message and space each of those new iterations of your message out in terms of hours. In between your message talk to other people. Share other bits of information that accents your overall message. Show your followers that you are there to help them with the problem your product will help them with. So don’t spam your followers help them

Different Accounts, Different Information

Good folks with multiple business endeavors, who have just discovered twitter and first grasp the full power to be had here are often the good intentioned people who are guilty of this spot of annoyance. These folks will make a twitter account for all of their different ventures and then using Hootsuite, or the like, proceed to post the very same information on each account. At first it sounds like a good idea you are getting your information out to so many different people who have perceived different interests that your company can help with. The problem with that is Twitter’s recommended accounts. You have seen this when you follow an account they recommended 3 others. These others are tailored to your likes and interests. So, your fans will see one of the other accounts and invariably start following that account and then see another of your accounts and following it. Not realizing at the time that they are all you. That is till they receive 4 of the exact same tweets from you. So you inadvertently have started repeating yourself.

Each account should have a different message. If you start differing your message by posting information about bumpers then besides the repeat message blunder you have also weakened your whole message for the Carburetors account. For example if you have an account that talks about Carbonators then you post the very same thing on your car bumper account. Your Bumper followers are not going to be as responsive to your message because you are no longer the go to guy on why carburetors are still better then fuel injection. Your message is not as solid. Most people quickly figure out that this tactic doesn’t work and then you either have several ghost town accounts with tumble weeds or they end up deleting those accounts. Apply some thought to what the message is going to be for each account. Stick to what you are wanting to say. You followers will like your message a lot more and be more responsive to your calls to action.

You can do a little cross pollination. If you wanted to, from time to time, Say, “Hey if you are looking for all the goods on bumpers and why they are good then you should check out this account.” This is a great way to keep your message strong and responsive without offending those that only care about carburetors.

Auto Generated Tweets

Dont repeat yourself with unfettered automation
Automaton helps almost too much. It helps to the point of repeating itself.

Automation is good when it is used in moderation, but you can get yourself in to rough territory if you start playing with automatic tweets. These are tweets that are often generated by a service to “Welcome” a person who has just followed you. In theory it looks and sounds good to welcome someone into the proverbial fold. Many times you had better be ready for a response. Because people will respond to those welcome tweets and if it is not responded to quickly then it can look very disingenuous, and provide a false view to you caring about your customers. Though there are times that you may have 50 or more new follows in a day it is better to welcome each one individually. You will typically word each welcome differently and it is good to comment on something unique on that persons account. This provides a personal touch and gives a more genuine welcome.

Ask Before DM

Direct Messages or DM’s for short are perceived, by many, to be near level of intimacy as emails. Who is able to send emails and who will get a response back from them means that direct messages are considered personal space? People who send auto DM’s to people who follow them are in the same realm as perfume sprayers in a department store.
I have heard the marketers spout that your get all these opens and lots of responses from sending unsolicited Direct Messages. I believe that yeah you probably do get several clicks on the link provided but how many buy and how many stay following afterwards? If you take all of that into account I don’t see the value of sending auto direct messages. Ask before you just randomly send a follower a DM but accept every direct message from your followers you get and help them to the very end.

Leave Room

As you have experienced Twitter only allows for 140 characters. Not words but characters so you have to employ the Soul of Wit. Then you need to compress that even more so that you leave room for people to ReTweet your post. Now this is actually slowly dying away because the Twitter native client does some magic so that a RT is easier to send. BUT! If you use a Twitter client like Hootsuite then you will need to worry about RT and a lot of people use Hootsuite and Tweetdeck and a few other Twitter clients for their desktop. There for when someone wants to Retweets your post then they will have to do some editing to get the
RT @yourname Oh I had something really insightful to say. That was both true and ironic #Funny #WayFunny #Ironic
To fit with their comments and their Twitter Handle. So though you can go to 140 characters it is normally good to keep it to 120. But this is becoming a lesser problem with more people actually using the native twitter web client or mobile app.

Too Many Hashtags

There are several items in the area of Hashtags that can be done in a wrong fashion. But one that I am seeing become a bigger problem is too many hashtags. For whatever reason people are again trying to stuff 5 or more hashtags into tiny space. I don’t know if they forget that they are not on Instagram or what but most people start viewing anything over 4 hashtags as getting a bit excessive. So, though you may cover 8 different topics try to use just the 3 or 4 biggest hashtags in your arsenal.

Machine Gun Tweeting

You may have lots to say. And all of it is important. But it is never a good idea to just rapid fire 15 tweets in just one minute. It is often viewed as annoying and flat out rude to fill up a person’s twitter feed. With nothing but you. Machine gunning your tweets is a sure fire way to get yourself unfollowed by a lot of people. Best thing to do is just go slow. Allow for a conversation to happen you will still be able to get your message out to the world and you might just pick up a new follower if you hold a conversation.

Don’t Over Automate

I have no problem with some automation of your twitter. I like buffer and scheduling tweets on Hootsuite. But if you do some automation don’t forget the human side you will encourage some conversations and when they do mention you. Be ready for a fairly prompt reply. The faster the response, the better. If you over automate and cut the human portion of your social media out, you will be viewed as a bot and that never provides any value for anybody.

If you apply some respectable manors to your twitter policy, you can often develop some very loyal fans. Take Scott Stratten of the Unpodcast. He often talks about how great Beats headphones are because of the service they provided through Twitter and their going the extra mile. Scott often talks about how his son’s headphones broke and they took all of his information and filled out his replacement application and so when Beats emailed it to him. All Scott had to do was sign it and mail it in. So the last bit of etiquette I would recommend is apply the golden rule. Think how you want to be treated and treat your customers and followers that way. Because if they get a good experience you may just get heaped with praise and exaltation from someone with a major platform.

We are all guilty of breaking a rule from time to time what was the last Etiquette rule you broke and why did it seem like a good idea at the time?

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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Mind Your Manners on Twitter
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