Users have the power to utilize the site freely and operate under their own discretion. However, over time Twitter has adopted an informal protocol. Similar to the arbitrary rules of dating, Twitter’s “dos-and-don’ts” are highly debatable. Pulled from various sites, here are the top 5 “rules” of Twitter:
1. Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t want your parents, boss, law enforcement, your kids’ friends or your significant other to read.
No matter how many times a person can be reminded of this, inappropriate tweets are sent out daily. Even if your Twitter audience consists only of close friends, what you put out on the Internet stays on the Internet. As more and more Americans establish a social media presence for themselves, it becomes increasingly more important to monitor your content online.
2. Do send tweets of value
If you are a user on Twitter, you are a contributor to Twitter. The purpose of Twitter is to engage with an audience, so be sure to send tweets of value. Twitter is not the platform to publish your whereabouts or activities every second of the day. Tweets with value such as news, quotes, or other thought provoking topics will encourage re-tweets and increase your followers. No matter if you are operating a personal or professional account, enrich the Twitter-world with tweets of substance.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of a tweet
Although Twitter encourages users to participate in discussion, avoid any and all matters of controversy. Even if your tweets are protected, you cannot ensure whose eyes will read your tweet. To avoid this, contribute to Twitter discussions positively. In general, remember the elementary saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Be sure to follow it.
4. Don’t overuse hashtags
Hashtags are commonplace on Twitter, however there is a fine line between a hashtag and too many hashtags. Overloading your tweets with too many hashtags is generally viewed as irritating and detracts from the tweet’s message. Learn to use hashtags sparingly and correctly.
5. Do or don’t obey the “follow for follow” system?
This aspect of Twitter is highly debatable. Twitter is designed as an open forum for thought, but you hold the power to decide whose thoughts you wish to view. Out of respect, it is polite to follow back someone who follows you. But in practicality, do you want to see the tweets of your random follower? For some Twitter users it is a constant battle to increase your repertoire of followers. For others, it is reserved for following the news and other thought provoking “tweeters.”