Gee, it’s only an auto message, don’t take it personally or anything

Web 2.0 LandscapeMost of the people that I follow and interact with on Twitter seem to understand the best uses for the tool. They also seem to be somewhat web savvy, and at least have a basic grasp on the concept of netiquette. Some of them, however, do not.

This article is for those who do not. I won’t bore you with a ton of tips or anything, just a few things that you may want to consider.

Twitter netiquette 101 – 3 simple rules

First and foremost; Never use auto-messages.
Auto messages strip the heart and soul right out of the term “social media”. And unless your messages offer some sort of true benefit to the recipient, or go beyond simply tooting your own horn, you should never use them.

If you send messages like “Make hundreds of dollars every day on Twitter” followed by a link to your website, most sensible people are not going to open it. And, in fact, many will likely stop following you too.

If you message me directly with that same link I will take the time to check it out, guaranteed. The web host I’m using to host this very site found me through Twitter. I was tweeting about the fact that I was looking for a good hosting service. A little while later a fellow from iWeb Hosting sent me a direct message with links to some info in their service, and voila, I’m a customer.

Don’t be a brag
Nobody likes a showoff. In person, or online. So, find a balance between telling the world how great you are, and providing useful resources and information.

Answer questions asked, follow links to complete surveys or polls, retweet a useful blog post that you come across, even just share a funny joke you found. In other words, be sure to give your followers some meat to chew, on top of reminding them how amazing your new product is all the time. They will be much more likely to read and acknowledge your messages if you have something to offer from time to time. You will also help retain followers this way.

This is somewhat an extension of the last rule, but join in on conversation online. People love it when they know people are reading their posts, and they are more likely to gain interest in you or your product if they know you have interest in what they are saying. If your messages are being heard your are effective, if they are being ignored you are wasting your time.

Closing thought
If everybody using tools like Twitter followed these simple rules the world of social media would be an even better place. We should all listen, learn, and share, and grow together. If we do the possibilities of what we can accomplish are truly endless.

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Thank you for reading what I have to say today. Signing off, this is Adam Weitner