I’m pretty new to Twitter compared to some folks who have been on for a year and even longer. But along the way I’ve learned a lot about how to use Twitter from personal experience and listening to what others have to say about Twitter etiquette.
Don’t listen to complaints from others
You read right. As long as you’re not being spammy, offensive, or a general jerk, it doesn’t matter what other people think about your tweets. If they don’t like it, they can unfollow! I can’t stress that point enough.
I’ve heard all sorts of complaints:
- “You tweet too much”
- “Don’t put your hashtags at the beginning of your tweet”
- “Twitter is not a chat room, use DMs”
- “Don’t DM me, it’s annoying”
At first, I used to try and abide by all the rules but it cramped my style. I wasn’t being myself and normally I don’t tip-toe around anyone. So I abandoned trying to follow everyone else’s rule and governed myself according to how I’d like to be treated. Others may think it’s cool to dictate my Twitter behaviour, but I don’t. There there are even Ten Commandments of using Twitter. HUH? Bunn dat!
Listen to complaints from others
You read right. You still have to listen to what you’re followers are saying to make sure you’re not doing them wrong. You may not even realize you’re being a jerk or annoying the crap out of someone. Most of the time its just small things like putting the @username at the front of the tweet so web users will get the replies. Personally I have no issue with that.
The bottom line
Be courteous, but don’t be a pushover — use reasonable judgment in evaluating your Twitter behaviour. And hey, you always have the option of NOT listening to what I have to say. If you want to abide by the Twitter Ten Commandments or any other Twitter Etiquette rules, by all means, go ahead! We all use Twitter differently, for all sorts of purposes and all kinds of ways; I think it’s unreasonable to stick everyone under one template.
What irks you about how people Twitter? When do you think it’s reasonable to ask your followers to change their tweeting behaviour?