If you want tips and tricks on how to use Twitter properly, you don't have to try very hard. Type the words into Google and hit the search button, you'll practically get overwhelmed with results. Some 100+ million in 0.16 seconds in fact (though I dare say many of these results are quite possibly useless). Over the last year and a half I've read plenty of blog posts with helpful tips and tricks along with some seriously funny stuff. When I joined Twitter in early 2009 I was a complete novice to what a powerful tool it actually was...back then it was a great place for me to keep up with what @TomFelton was doing as well as talk to a few cool people on the other side of the pond. I didn't pay much attention to what I was tweeting, how often, etc. I probably made every Twitter mistake you can imagine.
I have since attended a few Twitter seminars as I like to call them (you may simply refer to them as 'helpful blog posts') and I would say I've improved my tweeting habits. My favourite tips and tricks page is @TweetSmarter (website) and I would even go as far as saying that everyone should be following TweetSmarter. Dave & Sarah are incredible at what they're doing! They share stuff for just about any occasion and everyone and if something appears to be wrong with Twitter they're bound to know about it or at the very least they'll have heard about it. I can't say that I stick to all the rules but I share, retweet, thank, engage...a little bit of everything and for me that's the essence of Twitter.
Twitter has become a wonderful asset to my life. I'm probably slightly addicted (the level of addiction would be up there with coffee and chocolate) but I just love the idea of being able to check whether my favourite blogger (and there are a few!) has posted something new and interesting to read. It takes me only a couple of minutes to find out what's going on in the world. I can read those news I'm really interested in and don't have to sit through a half hour news programme which contains twenty minutes of ramble that I couldn't care less about. As a language student (Mandarin Chinese) Twitter has proven to be my lifeline. I've met countless of helpful, interesting people who are more than happy to share their experience and knowledge with the world. I'd be lying if I was to deny that I don't like the idea of being able to keep tap on what my favourite celebrities are up to and I do love a good ol' Twitter-chat with those tweeps on the other side of the world.
I've met some fantastic people through Twitter. Some I've met in person, some I haven't but feel like I've known them all my life. Being able to connect with these people in real-time, ask them for input / opinions / help or simply a dose of virtual hugs is amazing. It doesn't matter how late it is on my side of the world there's always someone around who may have an answer to a problem I can't solve on my own. There's nothing better than lying in bed on a Saturday morning - with a pot of coffee by my side - catching up on tweets, blog posts and news. A perfect way of starting the day slowly...until I get to that tweet my super-efficient friend posted about an hour before I even considered opening my eyes where she informs everyone that she's only only scrubbed the house from top to bottom but also brought the dog out for a walk, prepared a delicious roast dinner and wrote a novel (yes, I am exaggerating!). Naturally that's enough to make me feel bad so I down the rest of my coffee, jump out of bed and grudgingly tackle the day (read: throw on a wash and sprawl out on the bed to continue catching up with Twitter and maybe nosh on some chocolate).
But, yes there is a but, Twitter isn't all hearts and flowers. Some stuff on Twitter is a massive Deal Breaker, a big no go, a definite turn off. What I'm about to list are those things that are a definite Deal Breaker for me although if you've read a few follow / unfollow blog posts you'll find that some of the stuff I'm mentioning has been mentioned before, more than once.
|Cool! / Uh, no thanks!|
So well then, let's kick this off:
1) You are an egg, have no bio or tweet only spammy links and/or ads.
If any of the above applies to you, the only place you'll go in my world is the bin or to use a Twitter term, the 'blocked' list. You stand about as much as chance as Jackie Chan trying to convince me to jump out of a plane with him. I won't even for a second consider you potential follow material. Sorry!
2) You constantly moan about how crap your life is and how nothing is ever going your way.
I might let you get away with that a few times - hey everyone can have a bad day! I have one every Monday... If negative stuff is however all I ever see you tweet, then you'll be getting the boot pretty quickly. So maybe think twice before you post that next whingy tweet about how miserable your life is.
3) You don't share, engage.
Twitter is a social network. One of the definitions of 'social' is as follows: 'inclined to seek out or enjoy the company of others'. If you enjoy the company of others then talk to me. Reply to tweets, share something interesting or insightful, crack a joke, retweet, start a discussion. If all you ever do is post one tweet after another where you talk about yourself, your life or are just generally unsocial you'll also be getting the boot. I trust this is self-explanatory?
4) You're patronising, rude, start arguments.
If I want to be lectured, I'll call my dad and tell him I screwed up. He'll do the rest. I don't need you to do that in public with plenty of witnesses around. It's embarrassing, rude and inconsiderate. Having an opinion is perfectly okay, disagreeing with someone is also okay but watch how you do it. Remember I can't see your face. I don't know whether you're joking or not. Some people don't get sarcasm, others master it perfectly. Read over your tweet before you hit that send button and leave me wondering why the heck I ever chose to follow you.
5) You flood my Twitter steam with the same #hashtag over and over again.
This is not cool on so many levels. I get you want to 'trend' something for show your support for your favourite celebrity but I quite frankly couldn't care less about Justin Bieber's new single or which band decided to split up or whatever else you deem important to spam my Twitter feed with. Hashtags are meant to categorise tweets and whereas there are some cool or odd ones every once in a while, trending something for the sake of trending is so not cool. I refer back to point 3. Twitter is a social network. Yes, I want you to share / engage but I don't think taking over my Twitter steam so I can't see whatever else is going on is cool. You're not alone on Twitter so please be considerate.
6) You change your Twitter handle every other week.
I will not, I repeat, I will not spend ages on trying to figure out who you are because I suddenly see a strange name in my Twitter feed which I can't place anywhere. There are legit reasons for changing your Twitter name, here's how to do it properly.
7) Clogging up my Twitterstream with 100+ tweets where you chat to a bunch of people but the conversation makes no sense whatsoever if you're not part of it.
This is just plain rude. Twitter is not a chat room. If you feel the need to go on and on about how hot that guy from that band is with a few of your fellow Twitter friends, then please find a chat room, use Skype or MSN or hide your Twitter chat / hashtag - here's how, there's also TinyChat. You're clogging up my Twitter stream and I miss important tweets because I can't keep up / my stream becomes impossible to manage. It's disrespectful to assume I want to follow your conversation with no consideration that we may not share the same interests down to a tee. I may also be in a different time-zone and therefore I'm not watching that show on television right this very moment.