Nine Things Not to Do on Twitter

There’s no lack of advice on what to do on Twitter to gain more followers, offer better information, drive more traffic, etc. But about things not to do on Twitter? Here are some definite no-nos:

1. Repeat your Tweets several times a day. TwitterAddict Guy Kawasaki contends this is a good way to make sure your followers have a chance to see your updates but,that seems like a lame way to gain attention. If I want to see re-runs, it’ll be on TV – nothing like a old Seinfeld episode.

2. Auto-Follow. Following everyone who follows you, particularly if you use a third-party service to do it, is bad form. It’s not a numbers game, it’s about following people who are interesting, valuable, informative…or a friend.

3. Using profanity. If you want to swear, don’t do it on a public forum. For that matter, not swearing at all is a pretty good policy.

4. Excessively ReTweeting. A ReTweet here and there can be a good thing but constantly ReTweeting is annoying. It suggests that other peoples’ updates are a lot more interesting than yours and/or you’re not capable of original thought. Come on, how difficult can 140 characters or less really be?

5. Having an incomplete profile. If you really want to participate, let people know who you are: your name, a mini-bio and a URL go a long way in peeling back the onion, as well as validating your ID.

6. Self-Promotion: Twitter can be an effective marketing tool but it’s a different kind of marketing. It’s not just about blasting out your key messages; it’s about giving and taking. At the end of the day, a solid balance between give and take can be an extremely effective marketing approach.

7. Providing boring/inane personal details: Most people really don’t care your cat is sick, you have a hankering for a Starbucks cappuccino, or you’re feeling sluggish after not getting enough sleep.

8. Providing updates on where you’re located. E.g. Now at 123 Main St., Philadelphia, PA. For one, most people don’t care. Two, it seems a little 1984-ish to allow yourself to be tracked.

9. Over-Tweeting: If you’re doing more than 15 to 20 updates a day, you’re over-Tweeting and likely have too much time on your hands.

Anything else to add to the list – other than bloggers who create lists about things to do/not to do on Twitter?

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  1. Posted July 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    A corollary to #2 is not insisting that people follow you back, or even respond to your replies. Some of us now feel closer to some minor celebs because we follow them on twitter, but if you reply to them, don't expect you get a reply back in all cases.

    Another one is to bloggers: Don't use twitter to solely post links to your blog. Some people use Twitter as an RSS reader, but most do not. If you can't inject a few link-free, but value-rich, tweets into your stream then what reason do people have to follow you on twitter as well as subscribe to the RSS feed of your blog?

    That's my $0.02.

  2. Posted July 22, 2009 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    hey, nice list!
    don't you mind, i'll translate this and repost to (russian IT blog)?
    of cause, under your name!

    thanx anyway.)

  3. Posted July 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Like this. But two things I do (so maybe defensive :) ):

    I do RT lots. I have always been a good 'connector' of people and ideas. Go with strength. Lots of good stuff out there and the more vocal of my followers appreciate my filtering for them (again, do this in 'real life' too).

    I have been thinking about reposting tweets during a day or week. Reason: some people, like myself, are only on Twitter at certain parts of the day and have way too many follows/friends to have good inbound tweets linger on tweetdeck. And streaming of search terms or followers is limited. Share your concern though. Think there is a middle ground.

    Curious as to other opinions on this… nice post!

  4. Posted November 9, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I think number 9 isn't true. I post links to music on Hypem all the time and I've connected with a lot of music minded people.

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