4/20/09
3:41 pm

How To Be a Good Twitter User

Nobody cares what you had for breakfast.
But if you are cooking breakfast for the person you met last night at the bar, then that’s worth tweeting about.
Or, if you are meeting the inventor of the widget for breakfast at a diner and want to know what to ask him, then that’s worth tweeting about too.
Once you have some followers on Twitter, you have a responsibility to keep your tweets interesting to your audience.
Yes, that’s right, you have an audience. It could just be your mom and some friends, but it is an audience nonetheless. Don’t bore them with the mundane details of your life. That’s a waste of tweets. You’ve got a chance to make them laugh, make them smile, teach them something, or simply deepen your friendships.
A good Twitterer is always interesting and sometimes funny. He or she asks questions and answers them.
For instance, say you are an expert at widgets. That’s what you’re known for, and that’s why many people are following you. Well you had better make sure that most of your tweets are about widgets. That will keep people following you and keep then interested.
Now its OK to tweet about some personal stuff, or make some observations. That could be considered part of connecting to your audience. But just make sure you balance it.
So here are some rules you may want to follow:
Keep Mostly To Topic: Tweet mostly about the topic got people following you in the first place.
All Tweets Must Be Interesting: Even personal items and observations should be “newsworthy.”
Funny Is Fine: If you are sure something is funny, go ahead. If you are not sure, test it on a friend first.
Keep It Constant: Tweet at least once per day and keep it steady. Don’t suddenly send 15 tweets in an hour unless something very interesting is going on.
Ask Questions: Keep it a two-way street. Ask questions about the topic you are known for.
Answer Questions: When your friends as questions, answer if you have an opinion.
Stay Away From Issues: Unless your topic is politics, sex or religion, then don’t tweet about those things. You’ll always alienate someone. Though for some people, polarizing their audience from time-to-time can be a worthwhile thing.
Logical Links: Don’t just post a link. Describe the site and why your followers may want to click the link.
Make Sense: It is easy sometimes to post a few words that are out of context. Make sure each tweet can be understood on its own.
Be Yourself: Be genuine and say how you really feel and think. It is easy to spot a fake, even with just 140 characters.