5 Twitter Mistakes to Avoid

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by Danijel Štriga on February 11, 2013

in Lists

Four years ago, after a brief affair with Facebook, a friend of mine talked me into creating an account on Twitter.

Being the dutiful conformist that I am, I joined him and the ever-growing army of Twits. Over the next several years I spent countless hours reading thousands of jokes and observations while opening hundreds of links to newspaper articles, online essays, music videos and humorous images of cats. Here are some of my hard-earned observations as a Twitter user:

 

1. Don’t be afraid to follow anyone & anything (at first)

Social networkers have all heard the saying by now: Facebook is about people you went to school with, Twitter is about people you wish you’d gone to school with.

drun khulk

From profound (like Alain de Botton) to the absurd (like Drunk Hulk) Twitter is a place where you can befriend practically anyone. I can attest to that as someone who used to follow both The Terminator and Jesus Christ.

 

2. Don’t be the last to hear

When Americans captured Osama Bin Laden in 2011, it was Twitter user Sohaib Athar who first reported hearing helicopters and explosions in his town of Abbottabad. During last year’s London Olympics you could follow the Opening Ceremonies without looking at TV – just by reading other people’s tweets about it. When it comes to newsworthy events, Twitter is the first place to hear about them.

 

3. Trim the fat

Twitter is an interesting place but it can quickly get overwhelming. There are only so many tweets a person can read on a given day without getting nightmares about endless stream of sarcastic messages about pop culture or events in the office. It’s therefore important to carefully pick whom to follow and mercilessly prune anyone who fails to be interesting or amusing enough. Also, Twitter lists can be your best friend, helping you sort out people you follow in easy-to-use categories.

 

4. Keep it short and sweet

Arguing on Internet is useless. Arguing on Twitter is absurd. Being limited to only 140 characters per message means you don’t really have space for good old-fashioned rant. Best-case scenario: you write your rant over the series of tweets and people start to unfollow you because you bore them. Same thing goes for any kind of longer discussion, really. It’s much simpler to write funny, caustic or insightful tweets and keep everything else for your blog. You can always advertise it on Twitter and if you’re good enough, people will read it.

 

5. Don’t be stingy with the stars

Favorites and retweets are the currency of Twitter. Don’t be afraid to favorite (hot the ‘star’ button) and retweet the people you enjoy reading. “Follow Friday” (#FF)  is a long-standing tradition of recommending interesting people on Twitter to your followers.

ff

Sometimes it’ seems as if half the population of Twitter is simply reposting interesting tweets sent by the other half. While this may be true, it’s all part of Twitter’s charm and a great way to build a sense of community among users. If you haven’t already, give it a try.

 

 

Danijel Štriga writer profileDanijel Štriga (@Glupinickname) is a sleeper agent from behind the Iron Curtain. When he’s not watching TV or playing computer games, he enjoys discussing movies and playing P&P RPGs.

 

 

  • http://www.shezcrafti.com shezcrafti

    Mistake #6: Not follow @MrT.

    • Glupinickname

      Mr. T pities the fool that don’t follow him!

    • http://underscoopfire.com Howie Decker

      That’s actually rule #1 on every list we ever make from now until ever

  • https://twitter.com/Count_Marzo Count Marzo

    Mistake #7 Constantly spam/ReTweet He-Man, Masters of the Universe news. ;)

    NOT!

    Anyways, great article. Twitter is the source of much of my entertainment these days. It’s an endless supply of great reads, great links, great jokes, news, etc…

    In fact I just recently deleted my Facebook a month or so ago. I looked at it like once a year anyways. The shit on Facebook just got so annoying. Having waaaaaaayyyy more fun on Twitter! :D

    • http://underscoopfire.com Howie Decker

      Yep. Twitter > Facebook. And I learned the use of > and < on Twitter.

    • Glupinickname

      I started using Facebook again last winter simply as another way to promote my personal blog. It’s also useful when trying to connect with new people – there’s a much bigger chance they’ll have a Facebook account instead of one on Twitter.

      • http://underscoopfire.com Howie Decker

        I’ve noticed the same. I primarily got on Twitter to passively follow sports writers I liked, and it introduced me to a whole world of people that I now consider friends.

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