6 Things To Remember Before Posting A Tweet

Every day we post a variety of tweets ranging from what we eat to when we go to sleep. It is highly unlikely that we know most of our followers personally but they get to know even the minuscule details of our day to day life. These are some small and easy things which are good to keep in mind before clicking that ‘update’ button.

1) Think before you tweet

It is always good to think for a second before you post a tweet. We should ensure that the content we are posting doesn’t target anyone personally. There have been many cases where people have got into trouble for tweeting something casually. Looking at the 7 tweets that got people into trouble, it is hard to believe that people have got sued and lost their jobs because of a small status update on this micro blogging platform.

2) Track Statistics

A good number of updates which we post on Twitter will be accompanied by an external link. Instead of posting the link directly it is good to use a URL shortening service like bit.ly or Tr.im. Apart from making the link shorter it will also help to track the statistics. This will help you to analyze what kind of content your followers like and what they don’t.

TIP: You can find the number of clicks on bit.ly links by adding a ‘+’ sign at the end of the link. This works not only for your own links but for all public links that are shortened using bit.ly

3) Provide A Description

Whenever you are posting an external link a small description letting your followers know what they are about to see will definitely help. If you can make the one line description interesting, more people will be interested in clicking the link.

4) Posting Audio/Video/NSFW content

While is totally fine to share interesting videos and audios on Twitter, appending or at the end of the tweet is a good practice. A good number of folks use Twitter at work and having a sudden blaring audio or video in a silent work place is totally embarrassing. In some places video sharing sites may be blocked and this small practice will save them a couple of minutes. Similarly appending [NSFW] is really important while posting content/links which you may think may not be appropriate for all age groups and environments.

5) Repeated Content

We should avoid posting the same content again and again. Not only it is against the Twitter terms and conditions but it will also annoy your followers. Posting the same link repeatedly is a common practice among many bloggers who try to gain more visibility for their blog posts. While it is fine to post an important tweet a couple of times to cater to your followers across different time zones, exploiting it will definitely create a bad impression.

6) Credit The Source

It is always a good practice and also a good courtesy to credit the source. The most common way is to add a RT followed by the twitter handle of the referring person at the beginning of the tweet. Alternatively you can also add via @username at the end.

This guest article was written by Ramanujam, a grad student in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. Ramanujam is the editor of SocialCouch.com where he writes about social media and web 2.0.


44 thoughts on “6 Things To Remember Before Posting A Tweet”

  1. chester says:

    I need to start crediting the source more. Thankfully it’s easy to re-tweet now. Need to start using more hasthtags (#) also.

    1. I feel that crediting the source is really important, as plagiarism in any form is something that is generally frowned upon by everybody.

      1. That is also showing that you respect other stuff and give credit to them.

        This is good to keep this place clean and respectable.

  2. Thanks for the tip regarding the + sign and bit.ly stats. I didn’t know that before.

    One the one hand you say it’s against Twitter TOS to re-post, but then you say it’s OK to re-post for each time zone?

    1. Ramanujam says:

      Good point. In early October Twitter did announce that recurring tweets are in violation of the TOS.

      I meant to say that if you think that some tweet is very important and it hasn’t gained the right reach, one good way is to rephrase and post it. I am not sure if it is a violation though but it is definitely better than copy-pasting your previous tweet.

      1. Just to make sure I understand: the reason Twitter doesn’t want you to retweet is because tweets are supposed to be the answer to the question “What’s happening right now?”

        So, if you’re retweeting, it means you’re tweeting about something that happened hours or days ago, right?

        1. Sunil Jain says:

          I think we can retweet the tweets of others , but not ours self tweets and to get more followers do not retweet ant tweet more than time , doing this gives a false image to your followers and hence your followers decreases

      2. Custom Essay says:

        So, twitter is still stuck up with it’s decision about recurring tweet? If yes then we should avoid this practice.

  3. S Ahsan says:

    Great post Ramanujam, seems like you are in my area. 🙂 Besides, you have a decent blog! good luck

  4. How exactly do you go about tracking the statistics of your tweets?

    1. Ramanujam says:

      If you are using a URL shortening service like bit.ly, you can find detailed statistics in your dashboard.

      There are also many third party Twitter analytics tools which can be used to track your clicks, conversions and other metrics.

      One other method is to append Google analytics URL tagging to your links. This will be more effective for tracking online campaigns.

      1. Will you please tell us in details about Google analytic one.

  5. thanks for the useful info, I generally follow these guidelines myself, because it’s sort of common sense and logic, I also try not to post something like 60-70 tweets a day, because that is just spamming and flooding.

    Quality over quantity!

  6. cylblog says:

    The most important tip is to credit the source . Not many users follow that. Any plans for writing a best of johnchow.com post ?

  7. David Hobson says:

    nice tips on twitter.

  8. Brian says:

    There are rumors floating around the company I work for that somebody was fired for posting something on Twitter about hating working for the company. He was fired the next day, or so they say. I agree that you should be careful before bashing somebody

  9. Ms. Freeman says:

    Not original, but good advise none the less.

  10. George says:

    Thanks for the tip. I think it is important to Tweet something that actually has meaning. It always make me think “What?” when people tweet “I’m in the bathroom now.” or “I going to take a nap now.” Who cares?

    It’s also interesting how Twitter and other online services get used in a variety of ways. For example, how Twitter is used to coordinate meetings at conventions about the Internet.

    1. Wess Stewart says:

      From what I understand, strange tweets work well in the humor blog niche…

    2. Well, Twitter used to have “What are you doing right now?” on their homepage, so I guess “bathroom” was the answer to that. 🙂

  11. Blog Tactic says:

    Re-read your twits before clicking the Update button.

  12. SEO basics says:

    Good advice. Think before you tweet. Each tweet is a precious gift.

  13. To be honest I haven’t been tweeting recently. It’s kind of a waste of time IMO just because I haven’t really seen much revenue from it.

    1. So, there may something wrong how you use twitter.

      1. @Dana, Care to share how you’re using twitter?

  14. Ok,i think i can use some of it to have more result in my twitter link post.

  15. Thanks for the useful Info. Love it!

  16. David says:

    I’m just getting into twitter, I know… a couple years late…lol

    But I was just away from my computer and the web for way too long!!! 🙁 It was a sad couple of years…

  17. chandan says:

    Very nice post. I am using lu.ly for shortening my url and also using tweet deck for making my twitter activity automate.

  18. The last thing you want to do is come across as a twit whilst twittering……hahahahah……seriously though, some people are naturally chatty and others aren’t, so you’ll see the chatty ones will be the twitterers.

  19. Dan Lew says:

    7. Is this tweet going to make me money!

  20. Tinh says:

    repeated tweets will be considered spams by me and maybe unfollow that blogger sooner or later. Thanks

  21. The ‘things’ you have listed here is a big reason why I’m having second thoughts about following people who follow me.

  22. Stuart says:

    Hi, great Twitter post!
    I use bit.ly for my url shortening and tracking as it gives real time statistics.
    All the best,
    Stuart Nunn.

  23. fas says:

    I agree with this, people often go about tweeting in hurry.

  24. All good ideas, and it’s so true about the “going to the bathroom now” kind of posts. I read about a woman whose status update was “Giving birth. Brb.” – now that’s too much tweeting!

    I think another thing to remember – that comes under “think before you tweet” is that you shouldn’t get too personal. People who aren’t your close friends probably don’t want to hear what you have to say when you’re feeling very angry or emotional, whether or not you’re mentioning the cause of how you’re feeling.

  25. Yes I think RT will be good instead of via because with RT we can save one letter as well 🙂

  26. chester says:

    I’m liking the RT feature now. Don’t know how I managed without it!

  27. EarningStep says:

    nice tips , repeating content . this will killed your follower for sure .

  28. Brian says:

    Thanks for your share… Much appreciated.

  29. Kristina says:

    Fine post, you have outlines all the major aspects!

  30. More than half the people dont think before they post

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