Don’t be a #Twitwit: The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media’s Fastest Growing Micro-blogging Site

Most of us had a parental tag-team growing up. They enforced rules, praised us for good grades, and occasionally let us stay up past our bedtime. But what happens when the folks who previously corrected our bad posture and encouraged common courtesies aren’t privy to the etiquette of social networking? Who’s supposed to point out the error of our ways? #facepalm.

As a kid, my mom had a rehearsed speech she went over each time I was dropped off at a friend’s house for dinner.  “Remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Don’t put your elbows on the table – it’s rude. And if you overstay your welcome, they won’t invite you over again. Call me when dinner is over – I’ll come get you”. Jeeze. Needless to say, our parent’s were desperate to teach us manners and I’m sure we’re thankful for the help. I know I am. Unfortunately, mom and dad (at least mine in particular) know very little about social networking and still ask if I’m on “Facespace”.


The internet can be a crazy place. Faux pas happen every day. It’s tragic when something embarrassing happens to you, but amusing (at least for entertainment value) when it’s someone else. If one of the items below hits a nerve – then it’s probably true. Don’t be bummed. The truth hurts! Just remember – it’s better to be self aware than to be a repeat offender.

Twitter Whale MurderFollow back- Ugh. These two words scream “Add Me”. A term that should’ve been left on Myspace’s doorstep. We’ve evolved. No need to beg for followers. Add quality people, post quality content, and you’ll never have to ask for a pity follow. Promise.

Don’t Be a Self Indulgent Douche – If more than 75% of your Tweets are about yourself, simmer down. Yes, technically it’s your Twitter account. But there’s a way to do it without sounding like a tool. Read an interesting article? Find a hidden gem on Ebay? Mix up the “you” themed monotony and post about something other than you. Your followers will find it refreshing and it might reduce your chances of being ‘unfollowed’. Just sayin’.

Promotion… Shamotion- Sure Tweeting can be a great way to promote your new book, blog, site, etc. By all means, get your name out there! Just remember – being authentic is key. People can spot a bot a mile away, so nuke the auto posts and get real. If you want people to sing your praises with @mentions and RTs then you need to step up your game and leave your ego at the door. Be genuine, be respectful, be humble. When you rub someone the wrong way, they usually don’t come back for seconds.

Theneverendingtweet(makeitstop!) They chose 140 characters for a reason. If being brief isn’t your forte, link to a blog or community forum for the full story.  Don’t send back to back tweets because your inner chatty Cathy can’t be tamed. Reel in the beast!

Credit is Given Were Credit is Due – If someone posts something worthy of a RT, by all means pass it on for others to enjoy. Just don’t remove the “RT” and post it as your own. Bad manners all around, dude. Not cool.

The rumor stops with you! We’ve seen it spread like wild fire. “Keith Richards is dead!”, “Justin Bieber arrested for DUI” “Bret Farve caught in a scandal!” Ok, scratch the latter – I made my point. But before you start playing a game of Twitterphone, get your facts straight. Sure, you might need to Google it – but credible tweeting is worth more than its weight in gold.

Don’t be caught with your pants down. Scandalous tweets are tacky and ultimately a no-no. Take a lesson from Anthony Weiner. Unless you want the world to know your business, it’s probably best to keep it under wraps. Literally and figuratively.

The blind leading the blind. The reason for posting links is for people to click on them, right? Ok then. Channel your inner sleazy salesman and tell us why we should click it. No one likes a blind link, so give us a hint. A clue. Something! A little mystery can be a good thing, but too much mystery and you’ll be alone in the dark.

The Chain Gang – This should’ve ended with AOL email spam, but alas – it’s made it’s way to Twitter. Chain Tweets are the worst. First off, no one is going to die in their sleep/lose a kidney/or fall victim to a horrible tragedy if you don’t RT. Resist the urge, people. It’s so 1995.

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