Five things Small Businesses shouldn't do on Twitter

Twitter has been around for 10 years now, with over 300 million people using it, but there is no walk through guide on how to use it. There is a torrent of user etiquette that old time Twitter users understand, but new users are left to feel almost like the new kid in school, with no idea about the social structure.

I'm here to help you out with Twitter etiquette.

1. Make sure your Twitter Feed is varied.

When someone is looking at your feed, they don't want to see the same montonous stuff. They don't want to see a list of "thanks for the follow", "thanks to my top supporters from @crowdfire", or a bunch of obviously bulk scheduled stuff. Mix it up. People in general are fine with people scheduling things, but include some photos and videos in, some live conversation, some links to your own content, and some retweets.

2. Act like you would at a networking event.

You may have identified an influencer that could help with your company. Great. Now how to woo them? Do you just tweet them and ask for a retweet? NO. Imagine going up to someone at a networking event, interrupting their conversation and then asking them for a favour. And some people would do it multiple times, with the same message. Not cool. Don't do it. What you should do is sidle up, nod your head in agreement (do some liking). If you really agree with their sentiment, retweet it. Another way to soothe their ego is to add them to a list - "XYZ Expert" for example. Also, don't follow them straight away. You can add them to the list and keep up to date with what they are up to. When you are ready to actually connect and talk, then follow them.

3. Don't automate engagement

One thing that really puts me off is if I get an automatic crowdfire (or similar) direct message. That's just pure laziness. There have been a few that have caught my attention, you know they have spent some time crafting the message (normally along the lines of "sorry for this automated message, I know everyone hates it...") Spend a few seconds and message the people you connect with that matters.

4. Don't quote tweets word-for-word without @mentioning the original poster

This is one way to really bug other Twitter users, and it's not cool. If you do want to not mention them, you need to change the tweet. I think that's just common courtesy.

5. Don't spam the feed. Spread it out

This is fairly self explanatory. Don't remember you suddenly haven't posted on Twitter for a while and then spam it. You can use many free social media management tools (hootesuite, buffer etc) to schedule in posts. One every hour or two is fine, just make sure people don't see your stuff repeatedly in their news feed.