It’s easy to get carried away with tweeting on Twitter, and forget that the whole world is watching your messages. If you’re engaged in social media for the sake of your business or your own person, you can benefit from following these simple commandments.
1. Monitor your tweeting frequency
It’s a good idea to map out a plan for your Twitter account and the frequency of your messages. Too many tweets becomes like a noisy friend that tells you to “come here” every hour-you will learn to ignore him fast. If it’s overdone, nobody’s going to pay attention to you anymore. And the opposite is also true; if you’re not tweeting enough, potential followers on Twitter will forget you exist.
So, how many messages should I limit myself to tweeting per day?
A good rule of thumb is to tweet less than once per hour. If you’re on-line 12 hours during the day, then your limit would be 12 tweets. Any more than that and you run the risk of having followers devalue your messages. It’s okay to tweet more if there’s good reason to-say you just released a major song, product, or service and followers are asking lots of questions. If you are skeptical about this rule, go ahead and look at the largest personalities on Twitter for your industry and compare their level of follower engagement to their tweeting frequency. Follower engagement can be estimated when a Twitter account promotes a specific website or webpage that has a visitor counter.
2. Seek to engage followers by entertainment or utility
Your tweets have to add value to your followers if you want to keep them around and gain new ones. And adding value doesn’t have to be rocket science. Simply ask yourself if what you’re sharing is entertaining, informative, or useful to the majority of those who may be interested in hearing from you. If it doesn’t do any of those three, then you run the risk of sharing useless banter that may dilute the effectiveness of your messages.
3. Don’t use poor grammar or spelling
Good grammar and spelling are imperative to keeping followers interested in you. Even if you’re speaking at your follower’s level, it should still be one cut above where they still digest messages but can also appreciate them for being well written.
4. Keep it Professional
Don’t make it too personal or explicit. Simply put, don’t say anything you wouldn’t say if you were speaking on TV or addressing a large crowd. Google indexes tweets and people will find them when they’re searching for you, making tweets like a tattoo. So, don’t make it a bad tweet, because you could be staring at it for the rest of your life.
5. Don’t follow too many people
Following users on Twitter may persuade them to follow you in return. At some point, however, it’s wise to reassess the value of those accounts you’re following. If the user account you are following isn’t adding value to your online network, then you probably don’t need it.
It may not be well-known in the general public, but your Twitter account has promotional power not only within Twitter but also in terms of link juice, meaning who you link to receives a search and visibility benefit from you. If you link to too many Twitter accounts, then your linking power is greatly diminished. After all, who cares about who is on the list of the 1,000 accounts you’re following? Remember when popular music artist Kanye West linked to one person? It made headline news and the power behind that single promotion was clearly tangible.
6. Be careful what you promote
If the sites and brands you promote aren’t compensating you or returning the promotional favor in any way, you’re basically Mother Teresa handing out freebees. Your name or brand deserves more consideration before it’s used for the benefit of someone else. Just as important is who you promote and how often you promote. If you’re directing your followers to multiple websites and products, they’ll put less weight on your individual recommendations. Also, if you share a link to a website or entity that misleads or offends your followers, the negative sentiment may be redirected toward you as well. As suggested in a recent BusinessWeek article, maintain the 80/20 rule with your Twitter account – make 80% of your tweets useful and engaging, and only 20% on self-promotion.