Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twitter Etiquitte: Ten Tips For The Elegant Twit

Do you get the jitters when you think about Twitter and does the thought of a tweet leave you shaking in your seat? If you are one of millions pondering the question, "What are you doing?" it may be time to consider how to be a winner when you use Twitter.

Micro-blogging via Twitter is taking the world by a storm. While 140 characters or less make up a tweet, our fast-paced world has discovered yet another way to share information quickly, concisely and with the click of a twit. Social networking, public relations, marketing or simply informing your followers about WHAT YOU ARE DOING is now faster and free. If you decide to indulge in Twitter consider the following recommendations to help you twit with your wit and not shoot from the hip.

  1. Follow the leader. Explore the world of Twitter and follow others who lead by example. To follow is to lead in the world of twittering. If you don't follow, you cannot lead. Moreover, find a Twitter mentor. You can watch from afar and observe the respectful, appropriate and mindful approach taken by other elegant twits. Pay attention to the purposeful and well-intentioned way they tweet. Follow-suit and you too will be followed by leaders.
  2. If Twitter is an opportunity to show 360 degrees of who you are, remember you may be better served by keeping some of who you are to yourself. Wherever you go, your tweets will follow. Make sure your tweets are worthy of travel.
  3. Twitter is a platform that can be accessed via of Firefox, Blackberry, twitter.com, RSS, IPhone and other applications and devices. Remember that when you are alone with your phone, your Blackberry or your computer, the opportunity to send a spontaneous tweet can be compelling - especially in light of its simplicity. Once you push send your tweet will take on a life of its own. To save you from yourself, commit to saving before sending and review the proposed tweet in another venue/setting or at a different time of day, in a different frame of mind.
  4. Find a TWITITOR. Invite a friend, colleague or trusted confidante to review or edit your tweets if you are not sure if you should send.
  5. Be a good listener. Take the time to listen to the latest buzz on Twitter. You will enhance your Twitter wisdom, be a better communicator and ensure that your profile is one to be proud of.
  6. Begin with the end in mind. Clarify your Twitter objectives. Are you hoping to promote your business, increase your profile, make connections or stay in touch with friends and family? Define your Twitter vision to ensure that you use this latest technology in service of your goals.
  7. Beware of OCT (Obsessive Compulsive Twittering) . Twitter can be addictive. As a voyeur, participant or recipient of unlimited daily tweets, you may find yourself losing face time with the people around you. Utilize self-imposed limits, put it to sleep, remove the application from your cell phone or lose it completely, if you no longer meet, eat or sleep because you tweet.
  8. Twitter can be a workplace hazard. Lack of attention to one's work, impulsive information leaks and spontaneous streaming of uncensored information are consequences of careless twits. Be clear about the your ability to tweet while at work. Take note of your company's policy and remember that social networking technology is probably light years ahead of your Human Resource Manual. Be a "foward Twitter" and think ahead.
  9. Twitter can be like a "Girls Gone Wild" version of IM (Instant Messaging). Get real but don't get naked. It is not the venue to bare your soul, have a temper tantrum or tweet out of control.
  10. Show respect and RETWEET. Let others know you value their knowledge and information by sharing it with fellow Twitters as your retweet and spread the word. By redistributing great ideas you will further enhance your Twitter appeal.
If part of Twitter's charm is communicating with brevity in 140 characters or less, note that no number is too small to get into a cyber mess. So tweet with care and beware that every tweet lives in perpetuity. Remember "The Tweet Goes ON!"

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