How to use Twitter

At the moment it seems that you can’t escape stories about Twitter.  With all the hype and celebrity endorsements, lots of people are asking “how do I use Twitter?”.

There are plenty of sites out there that will tell you how to use Twitter, but not so many to warn you of the pitfalls.  If you take a moment to learn from this list of DOs and DON’Ts then you’ll be Twittering away with the best of them.

DO remember to hold your tongue.Unless your updates are protected, anyone can see what you are currently Tweeting.Bear in mind the story of the girl who managed to Tweet her way out of a job just because a hiring manager read her thoughts on the position she interviewed for.

DON’T use Twitter as a chat client.No one wants to their screen full of irrelevant Tweets from a conversation that they’re forced to eavesdrop on.

DO retweet other people.This can be a good way to build up a following of like minded Twitterers.

DON’T constantly self promote.Okay, we get it – you have stuff to sell.Twitter is by no means one way traffic – tweet back!

DO follow back, but….

DON’T be offended if people don’t always follow you back.Users with tens of thousands of followers are unlikely to see your Tweet through the noise anyway.

DO be funny, informative and creative with your tweets.

DON’T automatically Direct Message.This is the Twittering equivalent of spam and a faceless “hi – thanks for the follow” is impersonal and off-putting.

DO use it to ask other people for help.When you have built up a reasonable following you’ll find it easy to find answers to your questions quickly.

DON’T twit if your message is likely to exceed 140 characters.Spreading messages over multiple tweets is just going to confuse and irritate your followers.

These handy hints should get you started.  If you are likely to spend a significant proportion of your online time on Twitter then there are plenty of guides on the net telling you how to use Twitter effectively.

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