Friday, July 2, 2010

Twetiquette: Twitter Etiquette

All writers who want to get published should work on building a platform from which they can promote themselves and their work. One way of doing this is using Twitter.

Twitter is about promoting yourself and your work, but it’s also about community. At first it can seem daunting. Your tweets can seem to get lost like the chirps of a single bird in a flock of other chirping birds. How then can you get noticed? How can you get it right?

Some basic rules of etiquette need to be followed:

It’s not only about you. If you only post about yourself, your work, and what you are doing, then you will be noticed, but not in a good way. With any kind of community involvement, it takes time and interaction to build your place within it.

Seek moderation. Be a shooting star, but don’t storm the twitter sky with your tweets. If you post a tweet every five seconds, you will lose followers. No one wants to be bombarded.

Be creative. Regurgitating endless quotes from famous people doesn’t help to promote who you are and it doesn’t help anyone else either. Make your tweets interesting to read. Make them positive. And mix them up.

Be polite. Never ever, ever burn anyone in a public forum. Ever. It’s easy to gain a bad reputation and so much harder to build a good one from there.

Be helpful. The thing about any community is that you are best loved when you share. Retweet other people’s tweets. Be generous. Link helpful sites - not just your own.

Can you think of other helpful twitter etiquette rules? Do you even like twitter?

picture taken from here


  1. If you're having trouble thinking of things to tweet, look at all the useful info you gather as you visit blogs. If you find a useful or fun or thought provoking post, tweet it. Include the permalink to the post, not just the link to the blog. That way if someone visits your home page days from now and sees the tweet, they can link directly to the post.

    I'm doing that now.

    Straight From Hel

  2. You are so right about never burning someone in a public forum. Two people in my timeline recently were arguing viciously!

    Twitter is such a wonderful place to find support and encouragement from other writers/readers. Following some rules of etiquette can only add to the experience.

  3. Helen, yes that's a really good tip especially since there is so much great info out there :)

    Marisa, thanks for leaving a comment :) I've seen a few unfortunate incidents of the burn. It's never good. Twitter can be such a great environment for everyone if a few rules of curtesy are followed :)

  4. I just can't get into it. I created an account but honestly only check in once every couple of weeks and tweet much less than that! I just don't get it, but I know it can be of some value so I try. The re-tweeting thing I could probably really get into.

    But honestly, between facebook, my blog, the zillion blogs I follow (oh, okay, and my kids...we'll add them in there), I barely have time to write - which IS the reason I even began trying to create a platform. Ugh.

    Great post, though...I needed a twitter-tutor! :)

  5. The magazine Wired recently published an article on this subject. One of their tidbits is not to use Twitter as a platform to advertise yourself, although little celebrations are fine. Since I use Twitter to announce my blog posts three times a week, I wonder if I'm violating this etiquette. I post other comments as well, but that's my main focus. I'm not selling anything.

  6. Agree, agree, agree!!! I love Twitter but it's one of those things that takes some forethought. You really want to post wisely and not be taken up in the moment posting something that might be viewed as inapropriate.

  7. Things like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are a great way to track tweets. Makes it easy to return the favor of an RT or a WW or a FF. Also easy to keep track of people talking to you.

    I also keep a twitter feed on the homepage of my website & use it for announcements, etc ...

    It takes time to get into twitter and understand how to use it.

  8. Bonnie, I don't think letting everyone know you've posted a blog is violating any etiquette. I go to a lot of blogs and gain heaps of new and interesting info because someone posted it on twitter. I think if it's the only thing you do (and if you spam it like some) then it can become an issue.

  9. T. Anne, yes...because it's so simple it's easy to mistake that it needs no forethought at all.

    Mary, I occasionally use Seesmic but I'm not overly excited by it. I'll have to try Hootsuite next. I've heard a few people say it's good.

  10. Great advice. I don't tweet much but I like reading helpful tweets.


  11. I think that's the key, Clarissa. We all like reading helpful tweets so if we are helpful in turn then others will like to read our tweets :) Instant self promotion without "self-promoting"

  12. Thanks Lynda. This was very helpful!!
    I made a twitter account last year and have no clue how to use it. I'm planning a tutorial with an avid user in the next few days but like many, i'm wondering how it will fit in with writing, blogging, facebooking and life in general.
    Dorothy :)

  13. Dorothy, Best of luck with learning twitter. You should catch on nice n fast. It's another thing whether or not you'll like it though ;)


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