Since social media is fast becoming a religion for some, I figured I’d take a stab at establishing some commandments. As a disclaimer, I am not a Deity in Social Mediaville so please think of these as merely suggestions on playing nice and if they help you and your organization – I am pleased.
1. Follow others as you would like to be followed or brilliance is as brilliance does. You can’t just sit in your twitter tower and proclaim edicts on high. You are not the only one with extraordinary things to say. Pick some people, follow them. Enjoy their 140 character-limited brilliance and comment when pertinent.
2. Do not bear false witness against another twitterer (unless it means you bring on more followers). Joking aside, if you are tweeting for a professional reason, don’t spend your time putting others down. If you’re worth your salt you will rise above the competition without dragging them through the mud.
3. Do not covet another’s followers. Give it time. You too will build up a following. Just keep offering valuable insight and empowering your members or customers with something they can’t get elsewhere. Don’t know what I mean? Then….Houston, we have a (bigger) problem.
4. Do not steal other people’s thunder. If someone has a great idea, concept, article, tweet, blog, etc. don’t launch into a tweet like “Great idea. Shame I covered this yesterday on tinyurl123.” Sure it will drive some people to your site but it will drive others away – far, far away.
5. Give credit where credit is due. Maybe this is really number 4-1/2 or 4a. but it goes beyond attributing your sources. When someone deserves a compliment, give it freely. It’ll make you fee-ee-eel good.
6. You are not the next American Idol (or maybe you are) but if you are tweeting for business reasons you should serve as a source of wisdom. You are not holding court or inviting worshippers. Provide a service, knowledge, empowerment not preaching from a pedestal.
7. You shall not make wrongful use of the word “twitter.” Twitter is the site/service you use. Tweet is the verb (and occasionally noun) form. Conjugate properly, lest your tweets (not twitters) shall be grammatically incorrect.
8. Slow down. In microblogging it’s easy to be sucked into hyper speed and, like texting, a certain amount of typos can be forgiven (as long as they use less characters and save space) but if you want to be taken seriously you need to take your communication seriously as well so put forth every effort two check ur work. (point maid).
9. Twitter shall be more than just your personal megaphone. There is a lot to be learned from Twitter. Check out what conversations are going on around you via search, checking the top ten trending topics, even take a look at what your competitors are doing. Public space means it’s a good place to cyber eavesdrop and learn something.
10. Enjoy yourself in a professional way and keep at it. Consistency is key. Twitter is a useful marketing tool because it allows you to get in people’s faces often and quickly but just like you don’t want people in your face all the time, be considerate. Share what you know in a conversational style. Engage your audience and be yourself (as long as you are not an annoying know-it-all, then maybe you should be someone else.)
Any rules you live by on Twitter? Let me know.
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