Social networking has boomed on the worldwide stage in just a decade. Quickly becoming the preferred method of communication and connection, social networking can be a tricky landscape to navigate.
There are many social networking sites from Facebook, Pinterest, Mashable, Flickr, Youtube and more. One of the quickest growing sites is Twitter.
Twitter flew onto the scene in 2006 and has quickly amassed more than 300 million users. However, Twitter also has the quickest turnover (meaning that many people join and many people quit). Twitter has become a great way for businesses and other public figures to promote themselves.
Essentially, Twitter is one part micro blogging and one part Facebook status. Users have 140 characters to spill their guts to their followers.
In order to help you navigate the quirky world of twitter, here are some dos and don’ts.
- Get the lingo right. Forget Twittering and twitting. Your 140-character update is called a tweet and the verb is tweeting. If you want to respond to someone’s tweet, it is called a re-tweet. . Hashtag, which is represented as a # (pound) sign, is a way to tag a tweet. This makes it easier to search. Following someone is a way to keep tabs on the tweets of another user. Unlike Facebook, you do not have to get your friend request accepted. You can follow anyone, regardless of approval.
- Do be concise. 140 characters is not a lot to get your point across. The most re-tweeted and efficient tweets tend to be short, to the point and witty. Humor does very well on Twitter.
- Do follow people you admire. Twitter is a way for celebrities and businesses to add personality into their brand. By following celebrities, you can learn more intimate details and get to know them on a more personal level. By following businesses or brands, you can get insider info on new products, sales and other promotions.
- Don’t overshare. Unfortunately, Twitter has made people believe people care if they are eating a sandwich or sitting on the toilet. In reality, people could care less. Think about your tweets beforehand and consider what kind of tweets you enjoy reading. Hate your boss or just threw up last night’s dinner? Keep it to yourself.
- Don’t over-tweet. This relates a lot to oversharing. Even if you have good things to say, tweeting more than four times a day might be a bit overkill. Spread your tweets out to avoid information overload.
- Don’t send naked photos of yourself. This rule applies to all social media, but naked pictures on Twitter has gotten people in trouble. Politicians like Anthony Weiner have been busted because of naked photos sent to strange women (honestly, he seems like the strange one). The internet has a a very good memory, especially of naked photos.
- Don’t underestimate the power of Twitter. Twitter is one of the biggest sites for breaking news. And Twitter was instrumental in helping publicize political revolutions. Don’t fight the power of Twitter- use it to your advantage.