10 Twitter rules that everyone should follow

Twitter can be a powerful tool for businesses. It can help you to connect with your audience, find new customers and network with the people who could be most valuable to your business. Before you take the plunge and decide to open a Twitter account for your business, there are a few rules that you should learn and observe.
A common mistake is to assume that other people’s behaviour is acceptable and the norm. Instead, you should read up on Twitter etiquette in order to stay on the right side of your followers and ensure you can make the most of your time on the platform.

1. Drop the welcome message

When you first discover that you can set up automatic messages to users that trigger when they follow you, you might be thinking this is a great sales tactic. Unfortunately, it’s rarely seen like this and most users just find them annoying. No one likes to receive a personal message that clearly isn’t meant for them. You can use the DM feature to follow up with leads, but make sure it’s personalised and not automated.

2. Be authentic

You don’t always have to be broadcasting on Twitter. You can allow your personality and insight shine through. People want to interact with other people on Twitter, so make sure that you are present and authentic. Always look for ways to give back to the community before you think about how you can take from them.

3. Don’t be negative

While authenticity is good, excessive negativity isn’t. This doesn’t mean that you have to be an endless ray of sunshine, but try to refrain from using your brand Twitter account to complain about your Tesco delivery service, for example. Be critical of the factors that matter to your industry, but don’t be a grump!

4. Write content for the platform

There’s nothing worse than seeing a Twitter post that was obviously just duplicated and automatically shared from a Facebook post. The images don’t render, the links direct via Facebook and it’s just poor form. Take the time to write posts for individual platforms rather than automatically sharing things across all platforms.

5. Decide if it’s business or personal

Using your business Twitter account to tweet about your industry during the week and your favourite football team over the weekend is going to be confusing to your followers. It’s okay to be the face of your business but maybe change your username to include your first name and company name. You can see this in action here.

6. Learn to use hashtags properly

Hashtags help people to discover your content, but only when used correctly. Some people use hashtags as a kind of humour, which is great if you can pull this off, but if you want to be taken seriously learn to research hashtags properly. There’s no use crafting the perfect tweet and then categorising it with the wrong hashtags. One or two at the end of your tweet is plenty!

7. Don’t go overboard with scheduling

It can feel like the more you post, the more people you’ll reach, but in reality, it’s just more likely that you’ll annoy people. Aim to post around 4-5 times per day, not including your replies to individuals and retweets. This will ensure you maintain an active presence without annoying people.

8. Tweeting under the influence

If you can’t be trusted to stay away from Twitter when you’ve had a drink or two, then maybe don’t add the app to your phone. A hangover is bad enough without having to deal with the fallout of your ill-timed tweet that was hilarious at the time but not acceptable in the harsh light of day. If you’re going to tweet in a professional capacity, stay away when you’re tipsy.

9. Retweet with caution

If you’re going to retweet, make sure you add more to the conversation. It’s common to see retweets that just contain a pointing hand emoji and the word “this”. Use this technique sparingly, if at all. Instead, try to focus on adding something to the conversation while also giving credit for the original tweet.

10. Make an impact

If you have something to say that won’t fit into 280 characters, feel free to create a Twitter thread. Plan it out beforehand and then use the handy thread feature to keep everything in sequence.