Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Twitter 10 Commandments

I saw God the other day - he had just come down from the mountain (OK, so it was Camelback Mtn) and Tweeted to me in my sleep. He told me he had come to bring me the 10 Commandments of Twitter Here they are (in no particular order):

First Commandment

OK, for those who are Newbies on Twitter - you're forgiven, but only on day one. Twitter gives you a really ugly brown Twitter avatar by default. Change it, this goes a long way toward showing a "personality" behind a Tweet. I personally like real pictures of you however in some cases logos can work better for a brand.

Second Commandment

OK, the point of this one as I interpreted it is that you should never take yourself to seriously. It's ok to have typos on Twitter. It's ok to let your guard down and show emotions that you experience in real life. Let your Twitter network know the person behind the Tweets.

Third Commandment

Ya, ya I know some of you don't agree with me - but I follow very few people that have more than a 1 to 10 follow to followers ratio. One of my favorite aspects of Twitter is the engagement. If I can not have a TWO way conversation with you, your probably all about "you" anyway. Use an email list or blog instead.

Forth Commandment

When God shared this one with me, I think it was advise for a brand (be it personal or professional). It is very easy for people to "put you on the defensive". Even more so on a social network like Twitter. If someone tells you your brand (product) is crappy, or they experienced crappy service - LISTEN and learn. Although it is easy to just defend i.e. - "My product is not crappy, you must have just been having a bad day." Try asking them why, or what about their experience they found unsatisfactory.

Fifth Commandment

Ya I know, this sounds just like the fourth and Fifth commandment, but trust me it is not. This one is about how you interact with other's Tweets. If someone "@'s" you, reply. If someone you do not know Tweets about a topic you find of interest - join in the conversation. It does not matter that you know them or not - you'll likely find that you'll make a new friend.

Sixth Commandment

More than any other social network I know of, Twitter is FULL of charitable people. Lot of times Twitters are getting behind a cause. They use Twitter to either raise awareness, rally behind a cause or even raise money (Twestival is a great recent example). Not in a position to donate any money? Hey how long does it take to at least Re Tweet it to YOUR followers - perhaps they would want to donate.

Seventh Commandment

I took this one in vain for months! I signed up for a few services that would alert me when someone unfollowed me. Looking back it's like something I did when I was a little kid asking a girl on a date ("Oh ya, you don't want to go out with me? Well I think you are ugly!). Hey if you want to unfollow someone because they're no interesting, or offensive that's one thing. But think before you unfollow. If you followed them in the first place, it is likely because you found value in their tweets. Unfollowing them does nothing other than soothing a bruised ego.

Eight Commandant

OK this one is my favorite. Everyone want other people to Re-Tweet their Tweets. It is a could feeling to be popular, this is how you meet new people (who likely share your view or interest). The same way YOU like it so won't others. So Re-Tweet some of your favorite Tweeters.

Ninth Commandment

This one speaks for itself. After all, this is not some cult, and you are not some cult leader. It doesn't sound like you are really welcoming a new follow when you Tweet this - it just sounds dumb and somehow self serving...get over yourself.

Tenth Commandment

Everyone sells something on Twitter, whether you are supporting your brand, or a blog post,etc. You need to walk a fine line. It is very ok to promote something, just not all the time. Try mixing it up. Tell me about your kids or your dog. It's OK, I will be MORE likely to learn about your product or blog after I get to know you anyway.

Now before you forget these 10 commandments, start by practicing the 8th and please RT this blog post :-)


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MOCK! said...

Amen! You are preaching to the choir here...

Anonymous said...

I love these and heartily agree. Oh except for the unfollow one...I always unfollow because, like you, I think it's all about communication. If someone unfollows they are clearly announcing that they see no connection - why remain following them if there's to be no conversation? I'm never annoyed by the unfollow (seriously, I don't even know this person anyway)it just seems pointless to remain in a one-way 'relationship'.

Oops, long comment.

11th commandment...leave blog comments in 140 characters or less.

Anonymous said...

this is an amazing post. i love love love it. my personal fav - don't try to be TOO clever in 140 characters! good life advice!!