Here are some Twitter tips for folks who have been using it for a while. They are not definitive, more my expression of personal style.
Chances are, if you are reading this and are yourself a Twitter user, you have an opinion on some of these, so please push back in the comments!
- If you are on Facebook, use Selective Twitter Status so you can control what tweets appear in Facebook. On tweets you choose to share with Facebook, avoid Twitter lingo like @ and RT.
- Don’t share full links — always use a link shortener. Why? Well, it looks weird to see a full url. Bit.ly and Tr.im allow you to track rudimentary stats, too.
- Eventually, if you follow lots of people, you will need a desktop client so you can separate them into groups. Tweetdeck and Seesmic are the main contenders and they are really neck-and-neck in terms of features.
- If you manage more than one Twitter account (like if you have one for your business and one for you), Seesmic and Hoot Suite are good options.
- It helps if you have a rule for following people. Otherwise your numbers can get hard to handle. My personal rule is a version of @loic’s: I have to be able to articulate to myself a) who the person is; b) why I want to follow them.
- If you want someone to see a particular update, time and pace yourself. Don’t tweet important things until after noon (eastern) so you can reach people when they are in front of their computers.
- Don’t just share your own blog posts and stuff. Link to lots of places and people will see you as contributing, instead of taking. Don’t be a taker.
- Don’t worry if spammy “internet marketing pros” follow you. They’ll go away.
- Don’t have a photo posted yet? Do it. Is your photo NOT of your face? Change it. You need a photo of your face.
- Don’t use Direct Messages like email. They’re hard to respond to. Ask permission (using an @ message) or wait to be invited.
- About those hashtags (#). By convention, people use a hasthtag to collect updates into a category. For instance, everyone attending South By Southwest might add #sxsw to the end of their updates. You can make your own up, too, if you are attending an event or want to create a category. But check first to see if someone has come up with a hashtag already! (Use the search bar at the right to check.)
- Don’t send “thank you” or “welcome” Direct Messages to new followers unless you really have something important to say.
- It’s considered bad form to delete an old update, except under extreme circumstances. A typo is not an extreme circumstance.
What tricks and tips have you learned after using Twitter for a while?