Do you want to use Twitter for internet marketing purposes? If so, it is first important to familiarize yourself with the written and unwritten rules of Twitter.
Before outlining a few important rules of Twitter etiquette, it is important to know why you should know them. First, if your main goal of using Twitter is to market yourself or your business. You are still in the minority. Many use Twitter to update friends and family on simple aspects of their life, including new clothes, new job, life at college, and so forth. This does not mean that you cannot use the service to your advantage. It does means that you need to proceed with caution, otherwise your Tweets may come off as spam.
Twitter Etiquette: Following
To successfully market yourself and your business online, you need to develop a large list of followers. These individuals will receive your message and updates. The easiest way to do this is to ask for trades online. If you belong to an online message board, ask to get followers. State that as a return, you will do the same.
When on Twitter, you will find that you are approached. An old friend or coworker may add you to their list of contacts. You do not have to follow someone just because they followed you, but it is good etiquette.
Twitter Etiquette: Spam
At all costs, avoid spamming on Twitter. It is not only frowned upon, but you may lose followers, otherwise known as friends or contacts. This can be difficult if you are using the service for the sole purpose of marketing, but there are steps you can take.
For example, did you just start to offer your services as a freelance writer? If so, send a Twitter message stating the change. Your message could include something like “I left the corporate world to work from home. I am now employed as a freelance writer.” You will likely receive a lot of congratulations, but you may also get questions, such as what type of content you write or what your rates are.
Twitter Etiquette: Overuse
A message, otherwise known as a Tweet, must be 140 characters or shorter. This is one of the few rules and restrictions you will find. This means that you can send a lot of Tweets throughout the day, but you are urged against doing so. Once again, if only using Twitter for internet marketing purposes, your messages may come across as spam.
It may be ideal to send only one Tweet a day. You can, however, respond to responses you receive. More is okay, just don't send out 20 Tweets in one hour. In addition to subtly marketing a product or service you are selling, include a few personal messages as well.
Twitter Etiquette: Respond on Occasion
Similar to the above mentioned followers etiquette, if someone regularly responds to your messages with an @ response, do the same. This shows that you aren't just using the service for your own personal gain. Yes, you may be, but remember the goal of internet marketing through Twitter is to do it subtly.
Twitter Etiquette: Keep It Professional
Since your main goal of using Twitter is to market or promote your business, it is important to stay professional. Yes, you do want to be friendly and promote healthy conversations, but do not mix too much business with pleasure.
For example, you can send a message cleverly highlighting a blog you just started and follow it with a movie recommendation, but don't make your following message be about a party you attended with lots of alcohol. This is unprofessional and can draw attention away from your original purpose of using the service.
In short, Twitter is as great service to use. Not only can you stay in easy contact with friends, family, and former coworkers, but you can also use it as an internet marketing tool. With that said, proceed with caution. When promoting a business, even if not outright doing so, your words have serious meaning.