To tweet or not to tweet?


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?

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

Discussion8 Comments

  1. I agree with all of these (and am probably guilty of some of the don’ts…). I do dislike excessive auto-tweeting whether klout, triberr or whatever and excessive self-promotion because I feel like I lose the personal connection with the tweeter. I also don’t get why people feel the need to RT every follow friday they get to their followers; surely their followers are already following them?!

  2. To misquote Disraeli, “it’s better that people wondered why you din’t tweet, than wondered why you did”!

    Social Bro is a good way to find out the best time to tweet and Bufferapp is an easy way to send out tweets when you’re busy doing something else.

  3. I also hate autotweeting and now have filters set up to block anything from Triberr or Klout, which has done wonders for my blood pressure. Even more annoying is people RTing their K+ tweets. It makes me wish for a K- button.

    I also HATE excessive SHOUTING. It has me reaching for the unfollow. 😉

  4. I also hate begging for RTs unless it is for a really good cause, and people asking for K+ in their twitter profile. The constant reciprocal K+ giving just makes a mockery of the Klout score anyway.

  5. Triberr doesn’t auto tweet…once upon a time before I was blogging at all that is how it worked. Now I think there’s a bit of misconception from people who tried using it then. The interface still isn’t great, but it’s quite flexible and you can use it in a number of different ways.

    Every post has to be authorised, then it SCHEDULES the retweet of the writer’s post, so it’s like a scheduling system for your tribe’s blogroll. And you choose the time gap between triberr posts (e.g. mine is set to send one tweet every 2 hours max). I

    The negative for me is that the default twitter post is the post title, which isn’t often particularly good. But, you can edit that to reflect what you have read on the post that you like. And obviously that helps the other members of your tribe;)

    The real positives for me is that it allows me to share my blog posts with some american food bloggers who I have got to know through a face-book group. And to keep up to date with my UK friends’ posts that I wouldn’t necessarily spot who are in the UK food and lifestyle tribe.

    It also lets you use a number of other social media sharing tools very quickly and easily. I belong to one tribe where the default is not to tweet but to use SU.

    I think we all see things we like and dislike in other people’s blogs. For me, because I have fair number of friends who do competitions (and a lot of bloggers do), I don’t like overuse of rafflecopter for retweeting. It just means my feed is full of the various rafflecopter generated tweets. But of course I do it myself too, I just try to moderate the number of giveaways running at any time.

    Perhaps we should all remember that we are ‘hardcore’ social media users. So, what seems to us like overkill from one blogger may actually work for their ‘customers’ who are not necessarily other bloggers. I try to use analytics to check if things are being over done. In my first month of using triberr I got an extra 400 twitter followers (and the number hasn’t dropped) and my blog traffic went up by 20%…so it works for me at the moment.

    As Helen said, it you don’t like seeing something another blogger is doing, just use filters.

  6. Twitter is such a difficult thing to get right. I listen and learn, but don’t always get things right and the truth is none of us ever will because everyone has different likes and dislikes. Some of the things that really annoy me come from my favourite bloggers and most of what they tweet doesn’t annoy me at all.

    One of my personal pet hates is an “I’ve sent you a DM” tweet – talk about making one feel left out!

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