Navigate the brave new world of instant, global communication and information with this helpful guide to best practices.
- TIP: To block someone, visit their profile page and click the block link, or visit Twitter's @spam profile and send a direct message with the spammer's username.
- Step 1: Avoid any other behavior that violates Twitter's terms of service, like impersonating someone else, posting confidential or copyrighted information, or promoting illegal activities. For more information, go to Twitter's terms of service and policies page.
- Step 2: Remember that Twitter is an instant-communication tool – use it to discuss real-time events and engage with your community in a meaningful way. Most of all, be authentic. Express yourself, interact with others, and watch your community grow!
- FACT: London is the most popular locale mentioned in Twitter profiles.
- Step 3: Never spam. The quickest way to lose followers, and get kicked off of Twitter, is to send out blasts of unsolicited direct messages, post duplicate updates, post the same update with multiple accounts, or repeatedly follow large numbers of people.
- TIP: Tweet about more than yourself: Post links to sites or articles, and if you like a particular update, re-tweet it. Type RT, the @ symbol followed by the username of the person who posted the update, then their original tweet.
- TIP: Use a casual, friendly tone in your messages to help connect with people.
- Step 4: Use Twitter to build relationships, not just broadcast information. Listen regularly for comments about you, your company, or topics you're interested in, and respond! To interact with someone directly, use an @reply, which is a public message aimed at one person. Simply start your tweet with the "at" symbol followed by the username of the person you're talking to. To see @messages directed at you, click on the link on the right-hand side of your Twitter home page – it's the @ symbol followed by your username.
- TIP: You don't have to follow everyone who follows you. Following more people than you can keep up with sends the wrong signal; by following everyone, you're following no one.
- Step 5: Build your following slowly and organically. Include your Twitter link anywhere you list your contact info. If you have a web site or send out an e-mail newsletter, promote it there.
- Step 6: Personalize your profile. Under Settings, upload a picture and fill in all account information, including your real name, location, a brief bio, and your web site or blog. People will be able to find you more easily, and your followers won't feel like they’re being tweeted by a machine.