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.