Ten Things NOT To Do On Twitter


Having joined Twitter back in 2007, before most people had even heard of it, I think I’ve had enough experience with it to share my list of the ten things you should NOT do on Twitter. In other words, these are ten things that drive me crazy :

1) Auto DM’s.  I hate them. Sending me an auto dm to tell me you are happy I am following you is very impersonal considering you sent it to every one of your other followers. Instead I’d rather you just start a conversation with me than just send a tweet to thank me and then never tweet with me again.

2) Using hashtags that have nothing to do with your tweet. Hashtags (#) are to used to connect with other people who are tweeting about what you are tweeting about. For instance, when I went to the Type A Parent Conference I used the #TypeACon hashtag to tweet about the conference and connect with others who were there as well. If you are tweeting about say, interior design, and you want more people to see your tweet use “#interiordesign” or something that has to do with your tweet, not “#nature”, “#moms”, etc… just so people will see the tweet.

3) Asking someone to vote for you that you have never tweeted with. I’m happy to vote for you if I know you (or even if we’ve only tweeted once before) but please don’t make that your first ever tweet to me. (Even worse are dm’s from people I have never tweeted with asking me to vote for them.)

4) Not answering tweets directed towards you. I realize everyone can’t answer everything tweeted to them. Sometimes people get really busy or miss a tweet. Or sometimes people have hundreds of thousands of people they follow. I’m not talking about those situations, nor do I get upset if I don’t get a tweet back. But if you have less than 10,000 followers and you don’t respond multiple times? That’s what I’m talking about…

5) No profile picture. If you have an egg as a picture I think you are a spam account. It takes less than a minute to add a picture of yourself but helps me relate to you much more.

6) No bio. This goes along with the profile picture. Tell me something about yourself. Who are you and why should I follow you?

7) Only talking about yourself. Twitter is all about conversations. If you walk up to someone offline (aka “in real life”) and only talk about yourself I’m guessing they will find a way to exit the conversation as quickly as possible.

8) Only posting links. Unless you are a newspaper or news source you shouldn’t be posting only links. Tell me about yourself. Ask questions. Reply to people.

9) Constantly complain. Not saying don’t complain at all as Twitter can be a great tool to get problems solved and connect with businesses (I saved myself $500 in insurance costs and also got a cable situation solved) BUT also make sure you are sharing about great service, great people, and great experiences as well.

10) Not follow me! Ok, so I needed a tenth one for my Top Ten Tuesday post but if you aren’t following me I’d love to connect on Twitter :)

(Disclosure: I am no Twitter expert, guru, or whatever people are calling themselves these days (which if you see this terminology in a profile run the other direction…) but I do work in Social Media helping small businesses market themselves online. These are just my thoughts and if you would like to learn more about Twitter or how you can use it personally or professionally I would love to share my knowledge with you. You can email me at: pr {at} livingyourmoment {dot} com.)

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18 thoughts on “Ten Things NOT To Do On Twitter

  1. I’ve got to say an “amen” to number 9. The constantly complaining ones really drag me down and I end up not following them after awhile.
    Great post!

  2. I totally second the motion on numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. I really do not like the complaining tweets. It is really depressing. Great advice about asking people questions and trying to engage in conversation. That’s something I have started doing and really like.

  3. I would also add following someone to get them to follow you and then unfollow them. That really irritates me. It shows me that the person is not really interested in networking and connecting which means that I will unfollow them, so it really does not work. I have had some of those types re-follow me when they realize that I have unfollowed them, but I will not follow back.

  4. Alicia – this is a great list and I agree with what you have to say especially the spam ones. I typically don’t follow egg people or people with no description. Another thing I look for a lot but not exclusively is website links so I can check you out.

  5. Great list! Although, I’ve been guilty of some of the things a few times. As long as there is a happy balance, then it’s okay. There’s really no right way to use Twitter, just a bit of common social sense.

  6. Thanks for the tips! I am new to twitter (yes, I am light years behind in technology) and I am feeling a little worried that I don’t understand the unspoken rules. This helps me a lot.

  7. I’m kind of new to Twitter, relatively speaking and still getting the hang of it, but it isn’t exactly what I thought it was, or at least what it WOULD be if people didn’t mostly do all of the things listed in this article! I’ve come to the conclusion that most of my followers use tweet later software. The tweets come fast and furious but I seldom get any indication that anybody is *really* there… :(

  8. Great list! I’d expand 8 to be not just links, but only ads. I never follow any company, even ones I like, if all they ever post is ads. I want more; at the very least, tips on using their products, recipes to go with cooking tools, that sort of thing.

    And I automatically do not follow anyone if I see any kind of follower-program ad in their stream. Anything that smacks of “get more followers fast!” means I’m not following.

  9. I totally agree with your list. I would add the “reply by RT”. There’s this silly trend where certain people reply to your tweet by RTing or quoting it. It really grates on my nerves – enough that I tend to avoid talking to the ones I know that do it. That’s something that should be done sparingly, IMHO.

  10. Ok, so I’ve been guilty of a few of these in my past! But totally agree that ppl should stop doing some of these! One of mine is when you see ppl beg for RTs. “Please RT this!” drives me batty!

  11. Excellent list!
    I abuse hash tags but when it comes to using them seriously it’s annoying when ppl put them on tweets that aren’t related.

  12. I simply don’t have the time to say hi and welcome all new followers – and I think a lot of people on twitter understand that – what I want is to share something of value with them when they decide to follow me – they get a link to where I post articles…. and I figure if they bother to follow me this is a helpful tool that they get up front because my articles are on topic for what my field of expertise is –> baby sign language. I know a majority of people don’t even read those dm’s and those people I figure I wouldn’t have wanted to waste the time personally welcoming and reading their bio, and trying to engage when they’re busy trying to follow enough people to get enough followbacks (you know THOSE ones). How about an article on “how to artfully tweet”? I read once upon a time about giving advice using “NOT” simply embeds those things in people’s minds haha!

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