A Noob’s Guide to Twitter

I’m relatively new to this whole Twitter thing. And I have made a ton of Noob mistakes. But I’ve also learned from them, and now I’m sharing the wisdom I’ve acquired with you. You’re Welcome!

1:Don’t Auto-DM people when they follow you. Apparently this makes them want to stab you in the eye with something pointy, and will get you unfollowed immediately, and possibly put on the “Twitterers who suck” list. I don’t know exactly what it is, but, I know it’s bad. I think they come to your house.

2: Don’t spam the stream. If you have a product or service to offer- and you spend your entire day Tweeting “BUY MY AWESOME PRODUCT OR SERVICE!” -I don’t care how good your shit is, or how ‘influential’ you are in my ‘network’, I’m dropping you. And blocking you, and stomping out the remains of our twitter-lationship with my shoe. I’m also never going to buy your product or service.

3: Twitter is not an Instant messenger. If you are having a private conversation, with another person, there is this handy feature known as a DM. That translates to “Direct Message”. As in, directly to the person you are talking to. And not the whole world. If you only have 12 followers, and they are all your aunts, then it probably isn’t that important. But, if you have >12 followers, it’s best to use DM’s as much as possible. And if you can’t for whatever reason, (like, say, if the person you are talking to can’t check DM’s from their mobile for some reason.) then I suggest deleting the more inane conversations from your timeline after they’ve been had. I know when I’m deciding the age old question of ” To follow, or not to follow.” -the amount of “@suebob Lol!!!” and “@ralphwiggam ZOMG rly?” conversations they have in their time lines, the less likely I am to want to follow them.

If, on the other hand, your conversations are actually relevant to the global conversation, or incredibly funny, by all means, leave them there. And I mean actually funny. Not “My grandma says I’m funny”.

4: Re-Tweeting yourself, over and over again is lame. The whole point of an RT is so new people who weren’t already following you have a chance to see that you are informative and interesting. RTing yourself does nothing, besides make you look incredibly self absorbed and vain. Your followers have already seen it.

5: Follow people back. Unless you are incredibly famous and important, you are not too “good” to do follow backs. Use a tool to manage your followers, (I like Tweetdeck) and group people. Use TwitterKarma once a week or once a month or whatever to follow people in bulk if you have to. Yes, it takes some time, and effort, but you save yourself from looking like a twitterdick who’s completely narcissistic and only wants a soapbox, not a conversation with the world. If you are just talking but not listening, you are missing the point.

6: Speaking of famous people… don’t reply to every fucking thing they say with a “witty” comment. Chances are AIt’s not as witty as you think it is and BThey don’t care, (and may eventually snap and tell you to shut the fuck up). I’m not saying you can’t make a comment every so often. Or pass along a link or whatever. I’m saying that you should think really, really hard about what you type and send before you send it. And realize that whatever celebrity you are following, is probably being followed by all of your friends too, and therefore anything you say will be seen by everyone on your list immediately. So will the subsequent diss of having said famous person ignore you completely.

Which brings me to…

7: Don’t drunk Twitter. This goes back to the ” You aren’t as funny as your grandma says you are” thing. This goes double for when you are drunk.

8: Lastly: No one really cares what you are doing. Unless you are famous. And even then… use discretion. If you were engaged in several tweet-versations and you’re stepping out, fine. Say, “I’m leaving-later” If you want to share your daily plans, eh, that’s okay too, (though I prefer when people lie to make them more interesting for my amusement “Going to fight a dinosaur for my lunch!”) But, saying oh, ” I’m eating a carrot” or talking about shit that only two of your 104,659 followers will even understand, is kind of annoying. If you are following a show or event, use the #hashtags, so people at least have a clue what you are going on about when you shout ” XOMG JACK!DUCK ITS AN OTHER!” or whatever.

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3 responses to “A Noob’s Guide to Twitter

  1. WookieLover1224

    hahahaha. “twitterdick” hahahaha

    what a great word!

  2. One thing I’m always told is: “Follow everyone who follows you!”

    If I took their advice, I’d currently be following about 700 social media experts/entrepreneurs/affiliate marketers/consultants/new media strategists/seo experts in addition to the 200 people who actually post stuff I care about.

    The Twitter API usually limits Twitter apps to grabbing 200 tweets in one fell swoop. When I fire up Tweetdeck for the first time in the morning, I want those 200 tweets to be from people I care about, not those 700 spammers trying to funnel me down their affiliate marketing web sites.

    Tell you what, Mister “Follow All Who Follow You”, why don’t YOU do that if you really think it helps you “broaden your tweet base” or provides you with “networking opportunities”. While you’re at it, why not personally reply to each and every email currently in your spam folder? Personally, I don’t want my Twitter stream flooded with shit I couldn’t care less about.

    True story: The other day I posted a tweet where I joked that if I followed everyone who followed me, I’d end up having someone send me links to Gossip Girl videos on YouTube all day long. What happened? 24 hours later someone called @GossipGirlVids ended up following me.

    If you follow me, I’ll check out your profile. If you can string a coherent thought together and we share at least some common interests, I’ll follow you. But if it’s obvious you’re a follow-spammer trying to sell a product/service, kiss your tweety little ass goodbye.

    • pandorican

      I totally agree in most respects. I like to give people a chance, but i tend to un-follow those people who do… well.. any of the things in my list here, actually.

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