We do have a soft spot for twitter. Yes, it can be a huge distraction, but who doesn’t love a good nosey at what everyone else is up to? Many a good hour can be wasted on twitter. But, it can also be a very useful tool too. We have seen many bloggers connect with each other via twitter, and brands are gradually embracing the power of twitter and using it effectively to connect with consumers.
However, should you be careful how you use your twitter account? Can your tweeting get you into hot water? Can you pimp yourself too much or cause offence without meaning to? As with all forms of social media, twitter can have huge positive points and also some negative ones.
In the same way that it is ‘your blog, your rules’, how you use twitter is up to you (as long as you aren’t offensive and stick by twitter’s terms) but we have come up with a few of our own twitter likes and gripes. We will try to restrain ourselves from getting too ranty, but…
1. Twitter is a great way of connecting with like-minded people. Do jump in and join in with the conversation. It is a public domain so use @ replies to talk to others and don’t be afraid to ‘chat’ to new people.
2. Follow brands that you use or you are interested in. Tweet them to say what they do well and what you like, maybe even tweet to say what you think they could do better. But always remember, what you say on twitter is public so no matter how strongly you feel about how you have been treated or what a brand may have done wrong, don’t be tempted to launch into a huge rant. Try to find a way to contact them in private and work out your dispute that way.
3. Use twitter to promote your blog posts. It’s great to let everyone who follows you know that your latest post is live, but try to limit it to 2 or 3 tweets during the day to catch those who might be on twitter at different times. There is nothing more annoying than seeing the same post tweeted via various means 6 times in a row!
4. Ok, we lied, there are more annoying things. Using a tweet as one of the ways to enter a blog competition is great – it gets the word out. You then retweeting every entry into your competition is annoying. REALLY annoying!
5. It’s fantastic to tweet your friends but try to avoid arranging your social life via twitter! There is nothing more tedious than watching tweets exchanged between groups of people and wondering why on earth they don’t just email or phone each other. Twitter is NOT instant messaging. Also, don’t tweet people to tell them you just sent them a DM – that’s like publicly announcing “we are having a secret conversation”!
Ooops, we’re getting ranty now! Ummm… positives…
6. Have fun! Use twitter how YOU want. We’re not the twitter police and neither is anyone else (except, maybe twitter themselves) so don’t let them tell you they are! If someone does something you don’t like, you know where that unfollow button is…
Seriously, we have met some fantastic people on twitter. In fact, each month we do a round up of the ‘Twitterati’, which usually consists of those tweets that have made us snort our coffee all over the laptop. You should check it out each month and follow them. And don’t forget to follow us too – we’ll try not to do any of those annoying things we’ve written about!
So, how do you use twitter? Do you get ranty about the same things as us or are we being unreasonable?