People say some outrageous things on Twitter. We’ve all seen the silly and ridiculous tweets where someone gives way too much information. Some people think what they say doesn’t matter because it doesn’t seem real when it’s a virtual life. Now imagine if you were in public and said some of the things that people say on Twitter.
Say you were in a park and someone walks up to the crowd and yells, “Everyone look at pictures of my cat” and holds up photographs. That would seem weird, right? People are ok with saying those things over the Internet though. Let’s take another example. You are in a store and someone says outloud, “The baby cried all night…didn’t get any sleep.” It’s a bit random, but if you think about it, when someone say whatever is on their mind on Twitter, people think nothing of it. It seems like it is kind of expected on Twitter but frowned upon in real life.
Another thing, if we “LOL’ed” as much in real life as we do online, we would be a much happier society. Think about it. The Internet allows us to be anybody without ever having any human interaction. We do and say what we do online because we can but that doesn’t make it right.
Point? Does everyone in the world really need to know what people are doing every second? I’m not the first, by far, to point this out either. Before you tweet just think, would I say that outloud to someone in person?
There is no shortage of blogs and articles online that offer tips for Twitter users. I’ve read some of them and when I’m at school, my mom reads even more so that I can get the most out of using Twitter. Even with all the information available, people (many of them kids) ask my advice on how I meet people or make friends on Twitter. So I’m adding my two cents to the already volumes of Twitter tips.
These are in no particular order. The first one applies to kids only. Some of these I learned from very helpful tweeples when I first started and some I’ve figured out as I went along. If you don’t agree, remember, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
- Have a parent or other adult help you tweet.
- Even though the minimum age requirement is thirteen for Twitter and most other social networking sites, it’s no secret there are kids much younger online. There are also adults who shouldn’t be allowed on at all because they haven’t figured out it’s not cool to use bad language or act inappropriately. Except for a couple of tweeters who sent horrible tweets to several kids (me included), the majority of the adults I’ve met on Twitter have been awesome. By the way, one e-mail to email@example.com from my mom about a user who was at the total opposite end of the “G” rating, and their account was deleted the next day by Twitter. Keeping it clean for everyone does work.
- Remember that ANYTHING you say online stays forever somewhere.
- If you are a biz kid using Twitter, you want to have people take you seriously. Using proper grammar and spelling helps. Even if you only get 140 characters to say what you need and have to abbreviate a lot of words, you can still come across much better if you’re not just plunking out the first thing that comes to your mind. Think before you type. It can save you a lot of embarassment later on.
- Learn how to have a conversation with people.
- Don’t just say random things. Use Twitter to practice talking with people about a lot of different subjects.
- Use http:// before a URL so it makes a clickable link. Or better yet, use a Tiny URL option to save space. Tweetdeck has an auto option for this.
- Do searches with keywords that interest you.
- If I’m stalled and haven’t had many new followers lately, I’ll go to the web version and use the Advanced Search option. Type in some keywords to find people who might be tweeting about the same subject. Then take time to see what they’re talking about and if you want to follow them.
- Take time to do #followfridays
- Don’t just list people. Tell why people are worth following even if you have to do several #followfriday tweets. I started making a list (on paper) during the week to group my favorites. I’ll usually have a Biz Kid group, Awesome Adults, Artists, etc. You get the idea. Then because I’m in school all day Friday, when I’m done with homework after school, having my faves in groups ready to go makes it a lot easier to tweet my #followfridays.
- If someone refers you on a #followfriday, it’s good to reciprocate.
- Okay, for this one you have to be reasonable. Some Fridays there are too many to even keep track of so I’ll just do a general shout out and thank all the people who included me in their #followfriday tweets. Most of the time, people understand and aren’t offended.
- I recommend Tweetdeck
- It has so many advantages over the web version: separate column options, auto tiny URL, post tweets to Facebook at the same time, among others you can play around with. I have mine set up with a DM column, my own Pencil Bugs column, my Favorites, and All Friends. It’s easy to see who has mentioned you by quickly looking at your own column or who has DM’d you.
- The only thing I still go to the web version for is to see new followers and follow back.
- Take time to read other people’s tweets. There’s always something you could comment on (i.e. movies, people asking opinions, etc.)
- Send replies as soon as you see them.
- Try to mention what you’re replying to especially if it’s been awhile in between tweets. Otherwise, the other person may not even remember what they said to you in the first place.
- Even if I somehow missed a tweet directed to me or referring to me in some way, I still send a reply. People would rather have a late response than no response. What’s one of the rudest thing to do to another person? Ignore them . . . so don’t.
- It’s ok to sell or advertise your own services or products but it’s even better if someone else does. Recommendations from other people is better than tooting your own horn all the time.
- If you have something you really need to promote but don’t want to keep saying it too often, send a DM to someone you know really well and ask them if they’ll tweet it for you. I’ve had people do that with me and I know who I can ask for favors in return if needed.
- NEVER EVER use bad language. There’s just no reason for it and it doesn’t make you look good.
- Web Twitter and Tweetdeck have a delete tweet option but you only have a short time to delete it.
- I’ve tested it and was able to delete a tweet up to a minute afterward. It may go a little longer but I haven’t tested that yet. Don’t get worried if you still see the tweet in your own column because it stays there but it’s gone from the general view. For general purposes, I’d still make sure you proof before you hit enter just in case. You may not realize your mistake until it’s too late for delete.
- Use DM if there’s no reason for the world to see what you’re saying to a specific person.
- RT whenever you find something that’s worth repeating. Not only are you spreading good things but your username comes up more often too.
- If you know people that have something in common, do a tweet with both people’s usernames in it so they can meet & tell them why. Twitter is like trying to find a needle in a haystack so if you can introduce people, they appreciate it.
- Be genuine.
- Don’t have people tweet for you. Tweeples see your profile pic, get to know “you” and expect they’re talking with “you”, not a hired substitute.
- Even though it’s fun to change your profile picture, keeping it the same helps people recognize and find you faster.
- Take time to fill our your profile information and post a picture of you, not of some random cartoon unless of course you’re a cartoon artist. I’ve heard from many tweeters that say they won’t follow people without a profile pic or information.
- If you tweet something that you hope others will RT, make sure you leave enough characters for that.
- Even though many Twitter applications have auto responders, etc., I wouldn’t use them.
- If you follow someone and you instantly get a DM that is obviously not personalized, it’s like hearing a recording on a phone message or getting junk mail. If it wasn’t meant for me personally, I usually don’t pay much attention to it.
- Don’t schedule tweets ahead of time like when people write a bunch of famous quotes and set them to auto tweet on a regular basis. Without too much effort, anyone can see they are auto generated. If you’re too busy to tweet them yourself and have real conversations with people, maybe you shouldn’t be using Twitter until you’re not so busy.