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The Ten Commandments of Twitter « OK, Get Serious!
May 17, 2011
OK Get Serious Admin

The Ten Commandments of Twitter

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01. Twitter is a community, with many sub-communities. There are tools out there that can make managing multiple accounts, following, unfollowing, etc. much easier. However, there is no tool that substitutes actual human interaction. 60% – 70% of your timeline should be original material from you, but 30% – 40% should be @ replies and retweets. This shows that you’re actually engaged, not just dumping a whole bunch of content into a social media management tool and forgetting about it.

02. Gaining a good following takes time. Yes, you can sometimes build a list more quickly with automation. But to build a list of users who know and trust you, and who will actually heed calls-to-action you put out there, means you’re going to have to get involved. The list will grow steadily as long as you’re consistent. Once in awhile, an event will occur and someone will get thousands of followers overnight. Unless you’re a celebrity or accidentally witness a terrorist being taken out by Seal Team 6, don’t expect this to be you.

03. Stop begging, but joke about being needy. Repeatedly asking for more followers or retweets is a good way to get yourself blocked. Just say no. However, tweets like “I don’t think I’ve been retweeted since a meteor took out the dinosaurs” tend to generate goodwill and may actually get retweeted.

04. Autoreply has very limited, very specialized usage. A single autoreply DM welcome message is okay IF you have a large, high-activity account and if you aren’t promoting your website, products or services within it. Other autoreplies are frowned upon. Pretty fiercely, too.

05. Long conversations shouldn’t be held in the public forum. Most Twitter subscribers find this annoying.

06. Long conversations aren’t really made for DM either. Dude, got email? If you and another subscriber really want to have a conversation spread over dozens of 140-character messages, that’s your choice…it’s just usually not the choice most people seem to make.

07. Nobody likes a prude. Alright, not exactly nobody, but for the most part you should feel comfortable with quotes about body parts and a healthy helping of swearing in the Twitter community. Even if you joined just to follow inspirational timelines and bible quotes. Being irreverent is the societal norm on Twitter – it’s a different animal entirely than Facebook.

08. Good grammar is welcome. Chances are, you will get more “favorites” and retweets if you know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” “there,” “their” and “they’re.”

09. Grammar cops, however, are not welcome. If you want to lose a bunch of followers really quickly, start calling out individual users for their errant grammatical ways. Tweeting something generalized about grammar will probably get you laughs. Tweeting to mock someone’s grammar will probably get you blocked.

10. Insecurity is a virtue. Joke about it and people will follow you because they feel connected with you.

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