Best practices of Twitter

1. Don’t follow a gazillion people

Especially not if you don’t have alot of people following you back.
First of all, there is a thing called “information overload”, which will happen if you follow too many people, and you don’t manage them well in lists.
Second, your follow/following ratio is a major factor for Google to rate your authority on Twitter. Do you want to improve your blog’s rankings using Twitter? Then make sure your ratios are ok, and your tweets (with links to your blog), and your profile (with link to your blog) will be indexed better and ranked higher.
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2 Don’t forward unsollicited links via DM

If you need to send someone a quick link for something that you were or will be discussing, no problem, but don’t go around sending links to all your followers via DM. It’s a pain, don’t do it. You’re cluttering up people’s Tweet-inbox, and if they have the mail option set, their mailbox too. If you want to broadcast your url to your followers, do it in the main timeline. It’s easily ignored, and doesn’t clutter things up.

3 Don’t send an automated thank you message.

The thing is a bit the same as the one above. My Twitter inbox is filled with “Thanks for following, looking forward to tweeting with you!”. No, you’re not. You just set up an auto-follow-message, and you will most probably never even look at tweets, let alone reply to any of them. If you don’t have the time to send every new follower you have a personalized DM, then it is better not to send them a DM at all.

4 Don’t make your tweets too long

One of the powers of Twitter is to retweet what others have tweeted that you found interesting. However, if your tweet is too long, near the 140 characters, there is no place to put the RT and username in front of the tweet. If you have to start puzzling which characters or words to leave out to stay within 140 characters, without breaking the message the original tweeter waanted to convey, you mostly just leave the tweet be, and forget about retweeting.
A good rule of thumb to use? Take your own twittername’s amount of characters, ad 5, and make sure you leave that much space in your tweets to facilitate retweeting.

5 Don’t overdo retweeting of contests and giveaways

Unless you want to use your twitteraccount to gather all these contests and giveaways and retweet them so others can see them all in one place, don’t overdo it!
Everybody wants to join a contest, or wants some free stuff, but no one likes their whole timeline to be filled with “retweet to participate in our free cookie contest” messages.

6 Behave as if you’re on a coctailparty

Treat Twitter as a coctailparty, and behave the same way. Do you want to be the popular person on the party? Then behave social, happy, talkative, but don’t overdo it. Don’t scare people. Don’t talk bad about people. Don’t gossip. Don’t yell at people because they stopped following you.
Bottom line: Be Nice!

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