Twitter Etiquette

My first post was about establishing your online personal brand.  Using social media to connect with professionals is just like ‘meeting’ people in real life. It still requires certain common courtesies. I have found through observing and interacting with thousands of people on Twitter that individual styles of communication vary. Unfortunately, sometimes social media etiquette is overlooked. I have compiled some ideas I think should should be considered to improve your online image and your overall personal brand:

1. Thank Everyone:

I thank every single person that re-tweets something I tweet. I know a lot of people who don’t take the time to do this, but believe me, it is worth it.

Make sure you give credit to the source where you found what you are sharing. Think about how you would feel if you saw the article you originally tweeted get posted by numerous people with your name no where in sight. I recently thanked someone and his response was, “You don’t need to thank me anymore, you always tweet such great stuff!” His comment caught me off guard. My response was, “I thank everyone and I appreciate you sharing my content.”

2. Think Before You Tweet:

If you are trying to build your personal brand and connect with professionals to land a job or just make friends, it is always a good idea to think about what you are saying. Remember that your tweets can always be traced.

As I mentioned before, everyone has a different style of communicating via social networking sites. Some people tweet only a couple times a day and some people are “tweetaholics.” I admit, I am guilty of this.

I believe it is important to ask yourself what your goal is of your social networking. Are you trying to get a job? Are you trying to connect with others in your particular field? Are you wanting to meet people with similar interests? Remember, you are creating a brand for yourself. Show your passions and personality but be mindful in what you say. Always.

3.  Connections Before Favors:

I have met so many amazing people on Twitter; however, I find it shocking when I am asked for favors after one interaction. This is happening more frequently. People just send me articles to re-tweet for them. I think it is common courtesy to first build a connection with someone, which can take months.

I am a firm believer in getting to really know someone and reading their content. The best connections through social media come with time and often times are when least expected. The most genuine people I have met online are those who have come to me and we built a relationship through months of interaction. Be careful, but learn to trust-there are some truly exceptional people out there in the social media world.

It can be easy to let something slip, forget to thank someone or for your tweet to be misunderstood. Just always do your best to be polite. Think about what aggravates you on social media sites and ask yourself if you are guilty of any of the same things.



Emily graduated from the Walter Cronkite school at Arizona State University with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication (Public Relations). She gained experience with internships at a Phoenix radio station and 944 Magazine, where she developed editorial content and coordinated high profile events like NBA All Star Weekend and Scottsdale Fashion Week. She also worked for NBC Universal and was ASU’s president Public Relations Student Society of America. Emily is now an active member of P.R.S.A and is currently working as a social media manager for Rich Chicks, a prosperity-based Minnesota company and Simply Green Solutions, an eco-friendly California company. A Minnesota native, she launched her blog about her efforts on moving to Seattle for a full time PR or social media position and how she used Twitter to make connections. She is passionate about sports, music, traveling, cooking and tweeting! Follow her on Twitter @emilybratkovich and connect on LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. Best Practices for Personal Branding via Twitter
  2. Social Media 101: Networking with Twitter
  3. Twitter Basics Part 1: Setting Up Your Account & Tweet Beginnings

5 Responses to “Twitter Etiquette”

  1. Emily,

    Nice post. In regards to #3, many people aren’t using Social Media to be social and are simply wanting to mediate everyone about themselves or a product they’re selling.

    My friends circle in the real world has shrunk as over the years people change and become more occupied with family and work. I look at many of my twitter followers and friends and really see myself meeting many of my tweeps down the road. If not, who’s to say you can’t have a friendship without every actually meeting that person.

  2. avatar Kathy Meyer says:

    Great insights Emily! I agree with all your points! So glad we got to connect on Twitter! I look forward to our banter on one of our beloved subjects…#AmericanIdol ha ha! You are truly a shining of example of what social media should be…true engagement! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post! ~Kathy (@2cre8)

  3. avatar Maureen says:

    As a fairly new twitter user I started out using my gut instincts and I was lucky. I wish I’d read this a month ago. :) Well done.

  4. avatar Ruhani Rabin says:

    Hi Emily, those are some good insights.. I just want to point out some reality … it is excellent to thank you everyone I believe that but there are some issues… it is fairly easier to thank people when you have less than 100 Retweets a day. It is not easy when you are working professional and you reach the amount of retweets to 300 to 1000 a day.. if only one try to thank all of them .. in average that would be 100 extra tweets to thank 1000 people (10 people a tweet) .. no? Apparently that would flood one persons timeline too.. So thanking people is really subjective matter to the real facts. I believe rather than thanking them.. put them and organize them into lists first then spark a real conversation..

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