Once you get the hang of Twitter, it can be rather addictive. A virtual conversation in 140 characters or less becomes an easy, fun way to communicate. But when you look at all of the tweets from your tweeps (people who twitter), how many are actually getting on your nerves? When it comes to Twitter etiquette, there are definitely no-no’s that you should keep in mind. Twitter not only helps you build your network and reputation, but it also gives you a voice on the social networking scene. Remember you want people to follow you because you have something of importance to say. But that can go downhill real fast if your tweets are rude, ridiculous, raunchy, and even too plentiful.
Don’t tweet too frequently: Yes Twitter is about communicating, but don’t overdo it. There are no set rules on how many times you should tweet a day, but if you tweet every 10 minutes it can be a bit much. It’s like being at a restaurant and there’s that one person who just doesn’t stop talking. You start ignoring them, because you can’t figure out what is important and what is not.
Don’t over-abbreviate your tweets: Okay, so you’re working with 140 characters, but that doesn’t mean you have to abbreviate every word. The occasional abbreviation is fine, but don’t make it a challenge for your followers to try to figure out what you’re saying. Believe it or not, that can be annoying too.
Don’t explain why you’re “unfollowing” someone: I don’t know if it’s about feeling guilty or a need to explain why, but please stop yourself from explaining to someone why you’ve decided to “unfollow” them. If you do this, all you’re going to do is upset the person. Just bow out quietly and “unfollow.”
Don’t feel obligated to follow people who follow you: Don’t follow people just to raise the number of followers on Twitter. It’s always good to keep quality control of your followers. If someone decides to follow you, have a reason to follow back. Stop to see what they’re all about, and whether you have common interest.
Don’t use up all 140 characters: You want your followers to retweet (RT) your messages, and that can’t happen if you’ve used up all the characters. You should aim for tweets in 130 characters.
Don’t say anything that can prevent you from getting a job or even get you fired: Telling your followers “My boss is a jerk” becomes a public statement on Twitter. It could land in your bosses hands, as well as that of Human Resources.
Don’t tweet a photo that could hurt your reputation: I’ve seen many people tweet photos of themselves passed out drunk or half-nude. Do you really want a recruiter to find something like that on Twitter when they’re doing a background check?
Don’t overdose with self-promotion: It’s okay to promote your blog, you website, and your business, but stop from doing it all the time. Don’t become a human commercial on Twitter. What do you do when you see a commercial on television? Most likely you change the channel or fast forward through it. On Twitter, people just “unfollow” you.
Don’t tweet while you’re under the influence: Yes, people actually do this. And you know when some people get a few drinks in them—they unleash. Get away from Twitter if you’ve had one beer too many.
Don’t forget to shorten long links you post: TinyURL will do that for you. If you shorten a link you have more characters to spare for writing your message.
Don’t tweet your bathroom or sex habits. We don’t want to hear that you’re constipated or that you’ve just had a one-nighter. TMI (too much information).
What are you interested in when it comes to social networks and blogs? Let me know [email protected]
Rebecca is the founder of Wise Latinas Linked, a social networking group. You can find her on Twitter @RebeccaAguilar and @WiseLatinasLink