Bowery Mural

Twitter: My advice

Saturday, 1 January 2011

I thought it was about time I put my two pence worth of advice to folks out there who use or are maybe new to using Twitter. I'm coming at it from a purely personal point of view. You might not agree with me if you are trying so very hard to push your business on Twitter. But if you have a business I might be a potential customer so you might wanna listen.

Don't beg for followers. Followers should find you organically. Don't tweet "please follow me" under any circumstances. In the same vain, don't slag off people for unfollowing you. I saw a baaaaad case of someone totally slagging off people who'd unfollowed them and I promptly unfollowed them too. It was childish, it was crude and it was bad taste. It just means that to them you were not that interesting. Believe it or not, you are not the centre of the universe to all people. Get over yourself.

New Followers
If you get new followers don't feel obliged to say hello to them. It might seem nice but tweeting "hello new followers, if you don't say hi I don't know you're there..." is not a good tweet, is it!! This might seem odd but when i follow someone new i don't expect them to say hello to me first off, to me its the same as an auto-DM that everyone seems to repel. Think about it. It is. You hate auto-DM's, auto-tweets after new followers are just as bad.

Tweet whenever about whatever you like. There will be people who tweet snide tweets along the lines of "less is more.." blah blah. I've notched up over 20k tweets in just under 2 years. I don't think that's too much. Sometimes I don't feel like tweeting, other times i feel like tweeting 100 times an hour. Do it whenever you like. Be careful about what you tweet though, every one can read it. In general don't go bullying folk and crude sex talk innuendos makes you look foolish and desperate.

Please don't use those auto-list things. I've found myself in a few new lists lately and I don't like it. The lists were called People My Friends Talk To and People I'm Talking Too. Yuck. Frankly if you can't be bothered doing your own personal lists and adding individuals to it that you value then you probably shouldn't do those auto-lists. It's impersonal and i don't want to belong to one of them.

Ah the good old retweet. Don't retweet someone just because its your pal. Retweet because its a tweet that you are genuinely interested in, that you've actually taken time to read what's in the tweet and you think others would benefit from it. I'll repeat this again, do not retweet just because its your pal and you're doing the old I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Be yourself
This may be the most important piece of advice i could give you. Be yourself. Be honest - I feel there is a lot of fakeness on Twitter (I can hear gasps of shock). Its true. There is. Folk won't be honest about it though. I look at my stream some days and think to myself "what the fuck are you on about?" "why are you acting like that!". But know this, you probably don't even realise you're being led up a garden path until you're at the front door and its been slammed shut in your face. Be honest, be your true self, don't ever say anything you don't mean, be grumpy if you want to be grumpy, shout from the rooftops if that's your current mindset but please don't be something you're not. You'll get found out. Please.

Traditionally done when you want people to follow certain conversations or added into to a convo for fun. Whatever it is enjoy it but this is a word of wisdom to guys over 40: It's kinda sleazy when you join one of those weirdo hashtag games that are crude/rude/sex related. I just think of you as someones Dad and i for one wouldn't like to think my Dad was tweeting rude things in timelines that consist of all ages. I know i said above tweet whatever you like but rudeness, vile sex talk in hashtag games, things that demean women only make you look like a fool.

#FF/Follow Friday
Friday: traditionally the day when people want to recognise folk they've been tweeting with by mentioning them in a tweet with the hashtag #FF. But be warned, you probably shouldn't just do a big list of folk in a tweet. Its so impersonal and frankly lazy. By the same token i think its a little bit vain to RT(Retweet) a tweet that you've been mentioned in in a #FF tweet. Don't do it, you'll look egotistic and you'll clog up your followers stream.

Agitators/Confrontational tweeters
I've had a few of these kinds in my stream in 2010 and i have only one piece of advice for you for these types: Quite simply IGNORE THEM. They're not worth it, ever.

Oh yes this happens in the virtual world as well as in the real world. Try not to belong to one.

SM/Social Media/Experts/Gurus
You'll hear this a lot, no, i mean A LOT on Twitter. Mostly from people trying to distance themselves from that very title. I'll admit the word guru is horrid and no-one should ever call themselves a guru unless they sit and meditate for 23.5 hours each day. I personally think there are people whose job it is to produce social media strategies, whose job it is to introduce social media to new business are experts and yet these very same people who make money from doing so, who take home a monthly salary from doing so DO NOT CALL THEMSELVES EXPERTS. It must be the only job where people are not experts in their field!!! Fucking strange eh, strange. I mean I would call myself an expert at my job, if you came to me and asked me a question about my workplace and duties i could regale song and verse about the intricate nature of my everyday tasks. I'm sure the experts on social media, the social media executives, the bloggers who blog on behalf of other people could too so why oh why oh why do they hate to be called experts. Its like its some dirty word. Embrace it, you are an expert. Simple.  Here's a wee aside...I heard that some people (who are not experts or gurus remember!!) are paid up to £20k to go to conferences/seminars and talk to you. Also..I heard that some folk ask up to circa £500 for writing one blog post per month on behalf of other companies! Fuck. Sake. As I say every now and again - money for old rope. I'll do it for £100 per post! Seriously companies, you should probably have someone internally do your blog posts. It'll be more real. I mean can someone external really commit to raving about how great you are, for example, I couldn't rant and rave about how great certain alcoholic drinks are since i've never touched the stuff. You know what i mean eh, you get my point. Someone who knows your company ethos/values/way of life/end game, someone who has a vested interest in the success of your company (an employee) in my opinion would be better placed than someone who, lets face it, you probably only talk to once a month via email and who writes a bit of copy.

Apologies, i went off on a tangent where was I.

Perhaps one of the greatest things you will find on Twitter is that you will make friends with people you would never have had the opportunity to meet, ever. You will realise that people are just the same as you, some of them at least. You will realise that as in real life, people will come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime. You will soon recognise the keepers. The ones who you can turn to for anything. The genuine good people of life. That smile when you smile, that are sad when you're sad. These are the keepers. The others? well there'll be folk who drop in and out from time to time. There'll be folk you really care about and if they are missing you wonder why, what, where they are. You could even find a soul mate. Someone who you instinctively know are here for the duration in the same way you'll know the people who are only here because they want to show face. You will find inspiration, not from people who think they're inspiring, but from genuinely good unassuming people. People who really don't like to blow their own trumpets. People who know how to be human and natural and inspiring without even realising it. Mostly, what I've found, is that there are a handful of genuinely good good people in this place we call Twitter. And for me that's what keeps me going back each day. These are why I'm here, for them.

Now go, tweet, be cool, peace out.

Angela x


  1. I'd add, that unless you have protected your tweets (something I generally am opposed to) that you should never tweet anything you wouldn't want your boss to see. #paranoid

  2. Yes, that too Rob. But, I can't see what that would be...?
    Just be yourself and be genuine is probably my most important thing that I do.

  3. haha, this made me laugh! so true!



Thank you for reading. Leave a comment! I read them all x