Twitterquette 101: Lesson One

Twitterquette: the etiquette of Twitter, something we could all improve on. Some questions that may be asked include the following: what is okay to tweet, how often should I tweet, who should I tweet, how do I get more followers, and the list can go on for decades!

This is a new series I am going to bring to you, my readers, in the hopes it helps us both have better Twitterquette! Here is lesson one, enjoy.

What is okay to Tweet?

Honestly, everyone has a different opinion on what is “okay” to tweet. However, if you are using Twitter for a professional reason, which almost every fellow PR student I follow on Twitter is, there is a definite line of what is okay to tweet and what is not okay to tweet.

When I tweet I always think “what if…” For instance, do not tweet that you are drinking while studying for an exam. You may be in college, but if you tweet that you are having an alcoholic beverage while studying for this huge midterm in one of your PR classes just think, “What if a future employer saw this. What would they think?” If I was an employer and I saw someone that applied for an internship or job at the firm or company I worked at tweet something like this, there goes their shot at that internship or job! Plus, what if they thought you would drink while doing work for the firm or company? There goes your chance to show them what you are made of! So remember, when you tweet play the what-if game. If it is something you would not want an employer or your family to see, do not tweet it!

Something else to keep in mind is you do not want to seem like a robot on your Twitter account. Yes, share news stories to show that you are up-to-date with what is going on in the world, but personalize these tweets! Add your thoughts to a particular news story you read. You may only have 140 characters to get a message across, but trust me, you can say a lot in that many characters! So be personal and remember to engage with your followers!

While it is okay to be personal, do not be too personal. I have seen people I was following get a little too personal and let me just say they were quickly unfollowed, and it takes a lot for me to unfollow someone! So please, and I really stress the word please here, do not share what you sleep in, pick-up lines people are using on you at a bar, or how drunk you are with the Twittersphere. These are things we do not need to know, and in my book make you unprofessional.

There will be more Twitterquette lessons to come! In the meantime, what tips do you have for what tweets are acceptable and what tweets are not?

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10 thoughts on “Twitterquette 101: Lesson One

  1. Sheli says:

    Thanks! This is a useful reminder for those still learning the dos and don’ts of social media 🙂

    A good idea is to consider the difference between ‘personal’ and ‘private’. Just because it’s great to be personal, doesn’t mean you have to share private info. And from the other perspective, just because it’s better not share certain things, doesn’t mean it’s not possible to add a personal tone to your tweets so that your followers get to know you a bit!

  2. Ashley F. says:

    Glad to see you found this useful Sheli! 🙂

    That’s a great point! Personal and private do not always mix, so anything you want to stay private is something you should probably not share on social media sites, like Twitter. I know I like to get to know people I tweet with, but I never share anything private. I feel like that is a big no-no.

  3. Marco Fiori says:

    All very good advice Ashley. There was a particularly witty comment I had earlier in the week that I wanted to share with my followers, but it was borderline crude and wouldn’t look good. I thought, what if a journalist or client saw it? They might find it personally funny, but wouldn’t appreciate my saying it.

    Looking forward to future posts!

  4. Ashley F. says:

    Thank you Marco! So glad you shared that you had a what if moment. I know I always think what if about everything, so I especially do this when I tweet. Once you tweet something it is out there, like it or not, and even if you hit the delete button it could be to late. At least you caught yourself though! 🙂

  5. alondrat says:

    Great start to the series! We’re trying to get our chapter and firm more involved in social media, so definitely forwarding this along 😉 I can’t wait to read more!

  6. Ashley F. says:

    Thank you very much Alondra! Hopefully this inspires your chapter and firm to become more involved with social media! It is so important now.

  7. Clayburn says:

    I disagree about holding back. We need to fight to preserve free speech. If we buckle to fears of “offending” or otherwise setting potential employers (or current ones!) uneasy, then we’re not going to evolve society in a useful way. The older generation still has a lot of pull, sure. However, I think as we take control, we’ll be more willing to separate a person’s personal beliefs and conversations (as public as they may be) with their skills and talent. We do this by insisting on being ourselves on social media and not cowering away from what’s on our minds because of social concerns.

  8. Ashley F. says:

    Thanks Clayburn! You bring up a great point. We should definitely be ourselves on social media, but at the same time we have to keep in mind the difference between professional and unprofessional. I think everyone has a different opinion on what is okay to tweet and what is not, which is an awesome thing about social media. Everyone is still learning so we will have to see where the line of personal and too personal is in the future.

  9. Candice Boling says:

    Just like Stamey said
    “Would Stamey want/allow…..”
    answer yes, proceed
    answer no, dont do it.
    good ole life lessons from high school band.

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