9 Rules of Caution for Twitter Communications

My mother asked me the other day if I tweeped and I was actually proud of her that she was interested and even close to getting the word right. After all, she’s in her 70s and has never used a computer.  Assuming everyone who works knows what Twitter is and how to say it, I’ve put together some Twitter “don’ts” that might resonate with you or remind you. Please share your rules – I am sure I’m missing a few.

  1. Avoid “good morning” postings (do your followers really care, especially those in other time zones?)
  2. No need to say you’re signing off for the night – pre-Twitter, did you send emails saying “Goodnight” to everyone?
  3. Thanking your followers for the retweet comes across as braggadocio; send a DM if you feel the need
  4. Before re-tweeting a posting with a link – check the link to make sure it’s kosher
  5. Know the difference between Re and DM (note to Anthony Weiner)
  6. Avoid Twitterhea – diarrhea of postings just stinks. Space out your postings to avoid a lot of un-follows
  7. Avoid me-too coverage – differentiate your tweets, have a Twitter voice and don’t use it to scream and rant
  8. Use hash tags carefully – generally they’re appreciated when tracking conference coverage or big news events/developments
  9. Don’t plagiarize on Twitter – if you can’t post something in your own words, then retweet or take a break

– Diane Schwartz



  • c.c.

    It’s obvious: you’re living in another world than my twitter followers and me.

  • http://www.meyerbennettcreative.com rm

    You forgot a few… 1) Don’t tweet the same tweet 4 or 5 times per day unless you are tweeting an event, or something similar. 2) And there is no reason to tweet 15-20 times per day… about yourself…sorry

  • Luke

    Rules number 1 and 2, I agree saying goodmorning or goodnight is a bit unnecessary but the reason why people do that is so their followers know when they will be on in case they are looking to send a tweet @ them. When a follower is looking for a response its good to know whether that person is going to be on twitter, otherwise an urgent tweet at someone could not get any feedback.

  • http://contentequalsmoney.com Emma

    I just mentioned this to someone who posted this story: The thanking followers for RTing your stuff rule especially irks me. It’s about as bad as RTing Follow Friday posts that mention yourself, in my opinion.

  • http://www.cyberpro.fr Cyberpro

    Agreed – for all.
    Some of those I did (beginners mistake)
    For rules 1 and 2, twitter would imropve UX with a On/Offline indicator
    Why not a new hashtag #ON, #OFF for my first and last tweet … let’s try !!

  • http://www.cyberpro.fr Cyberpro

    well, #ON is useless

  • http://www.redlimemedia.net Stephanie

    This is good information. I am trying to build follower on Twitter. It is good to know the dos and don’ts.

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