Tweetiquette: The Dos and Don'ts of Promoting Your Site on Twitter
by Edward Stern who also writes for online accounting degrees and sonogram tech among other fine sites
Twitter is all but necessary now to promote your site. Tweetings helps connect your product with current readers, and is greatly influential in reaching new ones. It is an amazing, public way to gauge what people are saying about you, your competition, and trends in your industry, and to respond and adjust your methods accordingly.
At the same time, it's easy to misuse. Too many tweeters lose followers and tarnish their site's brand by making common, easy mistakes. Follow these Twitter dos and don'ts to learn tweetiquette and promote your site effectively, gaining new followers and furthering your product.
- Spell check your tweets. Yes, Twitter is about being concise and it has its own language with many abbreviations, but still, try to use proper English when possible. Proof read your tweets to use correct spelling and grammar. Slip ups can confuse what you're trying to convey to your followers, and also make you look unprofessional. Believe it or not, spelling still matters, even on Twitter, where poor usage of the English language runs rampant. Set yourself apart from the pack.
- Respond to feedback, positive and especially negative. Twitter is a tool for conversations, so have them, particularly when they pertain to the site you're promoting. When people give you praise, retweet it or personally thank the users. However, if there are negative tweets about your site, don't ignore them. Be proactive -- more often than not, tweeters just want their concerns to be addressed. Cease negative talk as quickly and diplomatically as possible. Ask users giving negative feedback to direct message their concerns and take their bad feelings out of the public eye.
- Promote others' work, events, etc. Twitter is also a tool for promotion (which is why you're using it), but don't make it all about self-promotion. Tweet about significant work or events done by related tweeters, such as for good causes or work you admire. Not only will it get you some good faith from followers, it may get you some followers in turn due to retweets. Moreover, it can help when you need to promote something later on -- a kind of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" partnership.
- Spam. This is a fine line to walk, and one many tweeters fall on the wrong side of. Yes, promote your site, but don't make that all you use Twitter for. You'll quickly be labeled a spammer, and lose followers and respect. Some social media experts suggest 10-15 non-promotional tweets for everyone one you do for your site; while that may not entirely be realistic from case to case, keep in mind to have a good balance heavily favoring non-promotional tweets.
- Tweet worthless tweets. Tweets have "worth," based on how they can attract followers, mostly through mentions and hashtags. Bland, useless tweets like "Walking the dog" are worthless. Though tweets have a short shelf-life, make them count. Mention someone, join in on a trending topic, but keep it related to what you're trying to promote -- add your voice, and work to make it a trusted one for your field.
- Have a generic profile. You're promoting your site, and having a barren, generic profile page with an amateurish picture will reflect poorly on what you're promoting. Incorporate your logo, themes, colors, whatever it is that graphically designs your site into Twitter with your profile page. It will make your page more enticing, make your site look more professional, and will make fellow Tweeters take your site more seriously.