Twitter is an important social medium for every public relations practitioner to use. However, when first entering this Twitter universe, it can be more overwhelming than the concept of status updating appears. This site opens up a new realm of possibilities for networking, so I decided to look at some different tips for proper Twitter etiquette to make the most of your Twitter experience.
- Think of Twitter like a dinner party. If you behave the same way your experience should be informative, entertaining, and fun. If you wouldn’t say something out loud, then definitely don’t say it on Twitter. Because of the wide variety of people, some subjects aren’t appropriate. Also, remember that it’s public. If you Google yourself, your Twitter account will probably come up. Your mom or even future employer could read your tweets. Use this opportunity to prove your credibility and portray your personality.
- Interact and share valuable information. Twitter is an interactive social medium so conversing with others is important. Comment on the information shared by others, and re-tweet what appeals to you. Fellow tweeters will return the favor, expanding your network. Tweets should include more than what you ate for lunch that day, because let’s be honest, no one really cares. Share links, tips, and information about subjects with which you’re familiar. And don’t ever spam! You may have a product or service to promote, but posting every two minutes about it will help you lose followers. Space out your information about your products among other valuable tweets.
- Balance your professionalism with your personality. You want to prove to followers that you are a trustworthy and dependable source of information. You should appear approachable and friendly, but still remain professional. People are much more likely to do business with someone they are familiar with, and Twitter can help humanize you to others. You also want to also be sincere. Give credit where it is due, and keep up on congratulatory and gratitude tweets. You’ll end up leaving an imprint on the people you network with.
- Follow interesting people. Twitter gives everyone the opportunity to sample ideas and knowledge of others, not only in your same area of expertise, but in areas where you have great interest, but lack knowledge. Follow important figures in your industry, and make sure to follow some of the same people they do as well! Don’t feel obligated to follow your followers. Look at the person's profile before you decide to return the favor. Today, reciprocating a Twitter follow is strictly voluntary, and there is no discourtesy in choosing not to.
- Make your words count. For a networking site that allows you to post 140 characters, you have to learn to get to the point while still creating interest. On your Twitter bio, you have just 160 characters to make your case. Include your contact information, and a place where potential clients and followers can get an idea of what you and your business are about.
University of Minnesota