In case you didn’t see the Sunday Times magazine last week, the issue was devoted to Twitter. As well as who to follow (and some to avoid), there was a helpful, fun list of dos and don’ts, under the heading “Twitterquette” by resident problem-solver, Mrs Mills.
Here’s that list in full:
Don’t overtweet: my number one reason to stop following someone is because they tweet too often. It is just annoying when your timeline starts filling up with aimless tweets because someone is stuck on a train, bored.
Don’t humblebrag: retweeting praise is the preserve of pondlife. The rest of the world doesn’t care, nor do we want our timelines cluttered with you RT-ing “Loved the column this week, you’re a genius xxx”.
Don’t drink and tweet: actually, I’m conflicted about this because it is very funny when someone starts tweeting about her man’s inadequacies while mispplling evVry other worm. She will regret it in the morning, but it’s been hilarious for the rest of us.
Don’t plug: while email dies a spam-induced death, so far Twitter remains a commercially light zone. Let’s keep it that way.
Do have a picture, not an egg: it’s just bad manners and suggest you are trying to stay anonymous, i.e., only one step away from being a psychopath. Some twitterers think it is also bad form to lurk – that is to follow lots of people but never tweet. Actually, can’t see anything wrong with this – it’s called being an audience.
Do remember everyone can see what you are saying: so if you’re 15, think twice before announcing how bad your hangover is, and if you’re the parent just remember before you start tweeting about the glories of your husband in the shower.
Don’t make social arrangements: it’s very annoying for your followers to find their timelines clogged with you arranging to meet a friend (shall we go for a drink? – which pub? – what time can you…zzzz). Use direct messaging, text or even (gasp!) telephone.
Don’t tweet things nobody wants to know: few of your followers will be interested in what you had for breakfast, that you’ve just missed the bus, or that your hair needs washing – unless you want to reduce your number of followers to immediate family and perverts.
Don’t @ celebrities: this is the cool view, particularly in America but, really, I don’t see why not? What are they on Twitter for otherwise? It would be like turning up to a party and expecting not to be spoken to – just arrogant. So do @ celebrities.
Thank you Mrs Mills – good advice!
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