Twitter Etiquette: Tweeting Like a Native

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By Chantal India, on 19 April 2016

We have said it before, and we will say it again: Twitter is an extremely powerful and invaluable tool when it comes to marketing in our day and age, and is a world your company should be present in. But that is exactly what it is: an entire world. Like any other kind of world or culture, there are certain and behaviors and codes of conduct that you have to follow if you want to fit in and become a native.

Twitter is a platform that is growing at an incredible rate, and is gaining more and more users every day. According to a recent study carried out by DMR, Twitter currently has 320 million active users. On top of this, 100 million of these users connect to the social network every day. The truth is, no matter what your product or service, or what your goal is, you are bound to find a target audience amidst the sea of devoted Twitterers. Its unique characteristics and varied options, along with its advertising platform, Twitter Ads, make it a powerful tool for you to be using, no matter what your marketing objectives are. The thing is, people are so closely connected to the platform (80% of people connect from their mobile devices, which, let’s face it, never leave our side), that they are exposed to an enormous amount of information and tweets, in all shapes and sizes every day. With 500 million tweets being posted on a daily basis, they have pretty much seen it all. Which makes that much more important for you to know how to act and behave decently on Twitter, like you have been doing it all your life. In that sense, I would like to share with you the most important things to know when tweeting, to seem like a native.

twitter etiquette

How to Tweet like a Native

1# Don’t spam
There is nothing more annoying than a spammer, be it on Twitter, in your email or even by snail mail. Of course you want to become big on Twitter and reach out to a lot of people, but spamming is without a doubt not the way to go. There are two main ways of spamming on Twitter, first of which, is going into a following frenzy. Some people follow everyone they possibly can in hopes of some people following them back, but this is just unprofessional. It looks very suspicious when you open someone’s account and you see they are following 30K profiles, but have only 500 followers themselves. Check out what your direct competitors are doing, but generally try to follow as much as you are followed maximum. The other way to spam is by excessive self-promotion. Of course you are going to talk about yourself, your products, services and content, but don’t be the kind of person who sends out 10 tweets an hour about the same thing, just saying to check out your new product, or your website. Constantly sending tweets promoting yourself with no real content or value to your followers is a sure way to be unfollowed very quickly. So show off a little, by all means, but do not overdo it and be sure to mix it in with content that takes your followers’ best interests into account.

2# Use grown up language
It should go without saying, but typing like your 13 just isn’t cool anymore. Sure, it can be hard sometimes to fit everything into the 140 characters, but don’t fall into the temptation of saying ‘u’ or ‘r’ instead of you and are, and much less ‘l8r’ or ‘b4’. You are a professional company with educated experts who know and love what they are doing, so be sure to transmit that idea on your Twitter profile. And don’t ever dismiss the importance of a thorough spellcheck before you hit send.

3# Don’t take credit where credit isn’t due
Retweeting is one of the biggest keys to the success behind twitter, and will be a very important key to your success as well; it’s a big part of the viral magic of Twitter. So, by all means, retweet away, it is a great way to interact with your fellow Twitterers and establish connections and relationships. DO NOT, however, just copy someone else’s tweet and try pass it off as your own. There is a name for that, and it is called plagiarism. If, for whatever reason, you are not inclined to use the automatic retweet button (which takes care of this for you), be sure to add RT (or Retweet) and @username of the person who originally tweeted it at the beginning of the Tweet.

4# #HashtagOverKill
Much like retweets, hashtags are part of the magic of Twitter. They are a great way to connect with your audience, stay up to date with the latest trends and news that is going on, and to make it easier for interested followers and potential followers to find you. Hashtags were truly revolutionary, but we still need to exercise moderation. #Adding #a #hashtag #in #front #of #every #word really just hurts your eyes and makes your tweets difficult to read and easy to scroll past. Try to stick to 3 hashtags or less per tweet, and make them something truly relevant to what it is you are trying to say.

5# Don’t be a ghost
Before deciding whether or not to follow you, twitterers will first go check out your profile to see who you are and what you are all about. This is a great opportunity as it means they are actually interested in knowing more about you – so be sure not to waste it by having an empty profile with no information whatsoever. Put a little bit of effort into your profile, just as you would on Facebook, and add a profile picture (either your logo, or a professional picture of you, for example), and a description of who you are and what you do. Keep it short but powerful, and don’t forget to add a link to your website for those who are so intrigued that they want to know more, or know how to contact you.

6# You are what you tweet
Don’t be fooled into thinking the trick is just to know when to post and how to post it – yes, this is important, but even more so is what it is you’re posting. Remember that what you post reflects directly on who your company is. You don’t have to post things only about your company (nor should you, as we saw above), but post about things that are either related to your business or sector, or that truly interest you (causes your company supports, for example). Don’t go down the path of tweeting about topics purely to increase your views or followers, make sure the topics are interesting and will interest the type of audience you are trying to attract – those who will potentially convert to leads and/or clients. You can have an army of followers, but it is no use if none of them will ever be interested in what you have to offer. After all, your end goal is to increase sales

7# Be visual
This is more of a recommendation than a rule. We are very visual beings, and when quickly scrolling through a news feed while waiting for the bus to arrive at 8am in the morning, it is very easy to miss out on a lot of information. So make the most of the chance Twitter gives you, and make your posts pop right out at people, by attaching images or videos to your tweets. It’s been proven, by the same study I mentioned above, that tweets with images see 22.8% more engagement than those without. It is also a great tool if what you are trying to convey doesn’t fit into 140 characters. 140 characters may be worth about 25 words, but a picture is worth a thousand.

8# Be a part of the community
Twitter is a community; there is no doubt about it. There are rules, guidelines and ways to behave (as we are seeing right now), people have friends and conversations, inside jokes and protests, and they stick together. It is not enough to just post, post, post and nothing more. For people to engage with you, you have to engage with them. So spend some time exploring the world that is Twitter, and start conversations, retweet, like, comment, give your opinion and show your support to your fellow Tweeters. You will see that they will do the same for you.

9# You are also who you follow
Though I highly doubt anyone will go through the list of accounts you are following, it still matters. As I mentioned above, it is not very well viewed to be following everyone under the sun. But more than that, who you follow sets a tone for your profile as well. If you follow the advice I gave you above, of engaging in your community, then the people you follow will be precisely the ones you retweet and engage with. Make sure these are people and accounts that you identify with, and that you want your followers to see you are following. In order to keep the amount of accounts you are following under control, be careful also to follow accounts who actually bring value and engage also – there is no point in following someone who is never active.

10# Be happy, don’t worry
This is, again, more of a recommendation than a rule. Be positive. Like I said, what you post reflects on who you are, so try to leave your audience with a positive, happy, dedicated and motivated image of yourself and/or your company, and avoid negativity. Giving your opinion on an idea or article is usually no problem (provided you be polite and prudent of how you word it), but criticizing a person or individual is never a good idea. Keep it positive and stay away from touchy subjects (such as religion or politics, for example, depending of course on your sector) and you will most likely stay out of trouble!

These 10 tips should get you up and running and tweeting like you were born doing it in no time at all, but should you ever need any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to ask us!

If you are working on your business or company's Twitter account, you might also be interested in what advertising on Twitter can do for you.

How to drive your company to success with Twitter Ads

Chantal India