Proper Twitterquette for Marketers

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Something must be said. We’ve noticed some unruly Twitter behavior from marketers – some of which is equivalent to a belch at the dinner table without so much as an “excuse me.” Now, we understand getting carried away with the benefits of marketing on Twitter, as the possibilities are endless and exciting. But getting caught up in Twitterpation is no reason to behave like a wild boar with a MacBook. Therefore, we’ve come up with a list of essential Twitterquette practices for online marketers.

1.) Personalize Direct Messages: Robo-churned direct messages that spew “Thanks for following me. I’ll show you how to be a zillionaire” are spam of the tackiest nature. Direct messages either should be personalized or not be sent at all. Period. We take a hard line on this rule due to the uncouth and rude nature of the act. Receiving garbage DMs are grounds for an immediate “unfollow.”

2.) “Thank You” Still Goes a Long Way: Whether you’ve received a shout out from a follower, a Follow Friday mention or an RT, a publicly tweeted “thank you” is the expected response and can be carried out within moments. It’s simply good form and it would make your mom proud.

3.) Plug Thoughtfully: The reason we’re all on Twitter is to get the word out about our products services and blogs, so of course we should use it to the fullest of its capacity. Yet we can do this intelligently and with humor instead of blathering on and on with desperate Twitter commercials. Remember: The cool girl always get asked out by the popular guy while the attention-seeking freak doesn’t get a date to homecoming. Link back to your site and blog by engaging in conversation and you’re guaranteed to get noticed by the cool kids.

4.) Save the Rant for the Message Boards: We get it – you’re passionate about politics, the climate, sports, what-have-you. But using your 140 characters to ramble in all caps about whatever is pissing you off at the moment is beyond rude. Twitter is not the place for such conversations and marketers should always stay out of controversy.

5.) Test Links Before You Tweet Them: Giving your followers a little something extra like a video or blog or article is Twitter thoughtfulness at its best. But linking to sites that don’t work is sort of like giving someone a Christmas sweater in July. Test your links before sending and send links that your followers will find interesting.

6.) Tweeting In Advance: We all use tools like TweetDeck or HootSuite to make our Twitter lives easier. There’s no secret that many tweets are composed long before they ever are read by our followers. Still, as responsible tweeps, we should still chat with our followers throughout the day and get involved in the discussion.

Now it’s your turn, kind and gentle tweeters. What Twitter behavior makes you batty? Tell us all about it in the comments section below – and we’ll send you a hand-embossed thank you note.

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