12 Most Basic Twitter Etiquette Tips

12 Most Basic Twitter Etiquette Tips

It’s been a while since I have been on Twitter and for me it’s one of the most powerful social media platforms. I thought it might be helpful if I shared some basic Twitter etiquette that I’ve learned along the way. Sometimes, it’s a challenge when you have to convey your thoughts in 140 characters or less and that is the beauty of this platform. It makes you creative.

With almost 340 million tweets per day and over 140 million active users, the platform is being used by individuals and brands alike. The challenge lies in the Twitter being used effectively and its imperative that we follow some basic etiquette when using it either for business or personal use. Remember, you have followers to impress and that’s how social media works.

1. Don’t be an Egg Head

“Egg Head” is the default avi that Twitter uses when the user registers. Change it to a headshot (yes, even if you’re a brand). People like to interact with a face and not a logo.

2. Have a bio

Twitter allows you to have a short bio. Utilize it to tell about yourself. If you’re a Twitter chat host, use the hashtag in your bio. Avoid using too many hashtags in the bio and add only the relevant tags.

3. Short username

No one would want to read usernames like @IAmTheOwnerOfABCompany or @TheGuyWithGreatLooks. Get an appropriate username and keep it short. Remember the 140 character limit — the bigger the username, the more characters it will consume.

4. Tweet less than 140

Make it easy for others to retweet or add their thoughts. Whenever possible, keep your tweet short. It will be great if you can express your thoughts in about 120 characters.

5. DM only if necessary

Direct Messaging is one of the most misused features of Twitter. Numerous users have faced DM spam with some brands doing auto-broadcasting of messages. STOP! —  if you are doing it, DM only when you want to send a private message to an individual.

6. High volume warning

If you’re someone who participates in Twitter chats or is doing live tweeting during an event, make it known to your followers. Not everyone would like to see their timeline filled with messages from only one person. Just send out a high volume warning, and let the followers decide what to follow.

7. Use # tags appropriately

Hashtags are the most powerful element of Twitter. It is Twitter’s way of adding a subject to your tweet. It helps to keep your tweet focused. So choose your subject wisely. Do not use too many hashtags in your tweet, it’ll confuse the readers.

8. Engage — Twitter is not a monologue

Like all social platforms, you can use Twitter to broadcast messages. But well, that is not “social.” The ability to socialize lies in the power to engage. No one likes to talk to a wall. Make every possible effort to engage with your followers.

9. Share/promote others

Share and retweet only what is necessary for your brand. Promoting someone or a brand is very essential, it helps to contribute in sharing information. People will remember you for that.

10. Respond to others in a timely manner

It’s very important to respond any queries in a timely manner. Conversation and engagement will happen if you respond ASAP. It will be a great opportunity to engage with your followers.

11. Mind your manners, be gentle

Ranting and cursing is not going to help you on any social platforms and Twitter is no different. Stay away from humiliating anyone.

12. Thank often

Yes, thank your followers often, especially for retweets. A small appreciation tweet can go a long way in building future relationships. It also helps others to know that you have taken notice and appreciate their efforts.

The above are some of the basic tips that I have learned over my time on Twitter. I believe Twitter is one of the most powerful mediums and it has helped me start many business relationships, so it’s essential that you use this medium wisely.

What are your thoughts? Would you agree to the above 12 tips or would you like to suggest more?

Featured image courtesy of Rosaura Ochoa licensed via Creative Commons.

Malhar Barai


An author, speaker, blogger and social media consultant, Malhar helps small and medium enterprises succeed in their Social Media Marketing campaigns. Malhar usually blogs about content strategy, social media platforms, product reviews and tricks to ace Social Media. Do follow his blog or engage with him over Faceboook & Twitter.

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