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?


Check-In Fever

Location-based apps are pretty new to the social media scene and they are becoming popular, fast. Personally, I love location-based apps and see great potential with them in the future. Below are my top three favorite location-based apps.

My absolute favorite location-based app is Foursquare! It is the first location-based app I ever used, and the first one I tell people about. There are so many great features that come with Foursquare and the mobile app seems to always stay updated. I honestly feel like Foursquare offers business owners a chance to see what is being said about their business by their customers. What other customers have to say about a business on Foursquare may influence other Foursquare users to visit that particular business. This is why I love the tips feature. I try to always leave tips at restaurants because they are really helpful to me. I have even ordered food based off of tips I have read by other Foursquare users! Not to mention, when I go to theme parks reading tips at rides makes the wait time for the ride (like the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal) a lot more fun.

While I am still relatively new to Gowalla, I still think it is awesome. It has a great social aspect to it and I love that you receive things when you check-in somewhere. For instance, when I checked in at the Orlando Airport I picked up a bag of airplane peanuts. What is the importance of these items? I am still unsure, but I hope to find out one day. If you do know, please enlighten me! Another thing I love is when you fly out of an airport and into another it shows how far you traveled and that you arrived, just make sure you check-in! Here’s what it looks like:

I do not know about you, but I love that is shows how far you traveled! Another thing I really like about Gowalla is the trips feature. While I have yet to participate in a trip, I definitely plan to in the future.

Last, but not least, is SCVNGR. Just like Gowalla, SCVNGR is somewhat new to me even though I have had an account for a while. Here is what SCVNGR is according to the website, “SCVNGR is a game. Playing is simple: Go places. Do challenges. Earn points and unlock rewards! (Think free coffee!) Individuals and enterprises build on SCVNGR by adding challenges and rewards to their favorite places.” All of this sounds awesome to me, but I feel like you really need to be in a location where businesses really grasp on to social media. Asheville, for instance, is a great location for this app and I will definitely be using it next time I visit.

What are your favorite location-based apps? Why?

Ever Wonder Why People Follow You?

Have you ever seriously wondered why people follow you? No, I do not mean follow you down the sidewalk, I mean follow you on Twitter. I have. Actually, I wonder this almost every day.

While some people may not think twice about the people that are following them on Twitter, I always wonder why someone I may have never tweeted with before is following me. Yes, everyone has their reason to follow someone, but when I follow someone it is usually because we connect. Below you will find the top reasons I follow someone.

Network. Twitter has definitely helped me out when it comes to networking. Being a large social media website, networking with students and professionals all over the world is possible. The best thing about networking through Twitter is finally meeting the people you tweet with in real life. The best way I have found to network on Twitter is by getting involved with different communities.

Community. Being involved in great communities like #PRStudChat and #PRSSA, along with many other ones, has given me the chance to network with fellow students and professionals. Through these communities I start to follow the people I have met, because I am learning from them. We also have something in common: the community we are involved in.

Engagement. Engage with me! When I follow someone I always try to engage with them as much as possible. If I am following you it is because I want to engage with you, and if you are following me I want you to engage with me! I do not bite, I promise! Plus, if you have not noticed by now I like to talk. 😉

Learn. Like I have already mentioned, I follow people because I know I can learn a lot from them. Through communities and engaging with individuals, my knowledge on various topics has grown tremendously. One topic, of course, is social media! Who would have guessed? I think everyone that engages in communities on Twitter have a lot to offer and overall it is an awesome learning opportunity for everyone.

While I follow almost 1,500 people, and this number grows everyday, I have connected with each person. This is why I am following them. Every Twitter handle that I follow, I follow with purpose.

What are your thoughts? Why do you follow someone? Do they provide information that is relevant to you? Are they interesting?

How do you Tweet?

Tweeting for me started on the web. From the web I discovered TweetDeck and fell in love with how it fulfilled my tweeting needs. I have tried CoTweet, Seesmic, Chromed Bird and Hootsuite, oh and of course Twitter for Mac when the Mac App Store opened. There may be other sources I have tried, but I honestly cannot remember any other ones. TweetDeck is, and has always been, my constant way to tweet while on my computer because of all of the amazing features it has.

When it comes to my Droid Incredible I have tried Twitter for Droid, Seesmic, and when TweetDeck became available for Beta I had to have it. While I love the desktop version of TweetDeck, I am not a super huge fan of the mobile version. I loved it at first, and lately it has not been staying very updated. Twitter for Droid works way more efficiently for me and is my favorite tweeting source while on my phone.

My favorite way to tweet is from my computer. I love that I have access to Twitter while on the go, but tweeting from the computer is still my favorite.

What is your favorite way to tweet? Would love to hear your feedback!

The Verdict is Out

Yes, you heard correctly. The verdict is out. On what you ask? Formulists. What about Formulists? My decision on whether or not I actually want to try this service or not. After creating a poll a little over a week ago, here are the results:

  • Yes: 0%
  • No: 16.67%
  • Not really: 0%
  • You should definitely try it!: 83.33%
  • Other: 0%

The few comments I received on the post were against Formulists, and after this poll and doing more research on Formulists this past week, I must say I will not be testing out this service. For me, lists help me keep track of people that I tweet with, such as PR professionals, PR firms, people I meet at conferences, etc. I like to personalize these lists and with Formulists it does not seem like you can do that. Now correct me if I am wrong, but this service reminds me a lot of “bot” tweets.

I check to see what lists I have been added to almost every single day and because of Formulists I will be added and removed from lists within the same day. This really bothers me, because it does not seem very personalized.

What do you think? Are Formulists less personalized?

Formulists: To Try it or Not

Recently I have noticed many of the lists I am added to on Twitter are created by a new service called Formulists. Personally, I have not tried out this new service because I am not sure how I honestly feel about having an outside source create a list for me. When I create a list on Twitter I add people for a particular reason, and I know exactly who I have added to those lists. With Formulists I have a feeling it is a lot different. Especially since they are referred to as “self-updating” lists.

With a self-updating list you would constantly have to see who has been added and removed from a list, compared to a list you created on your own. I have been up in the air lately if I actually want to test this service out or not, so I have created a poll and would love feedback from you guys!

Thanks for taking my poll! I will write another post to let you guys know what I have decided to go with.

One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today I started this blog. At the time I had no idea if people would actually read any post I wrote or even how to promote it. Needless to say, I quickly discovered that Twitter is a powerful, and helpful, source to getting the word out about your blog. While my first couple of posts may not have been PR related at all, it was one way for me to start writing more and discover where exactly I wanted to go with my blog. Writing is something I am very passionate about. Growing up I used to keep journals to write about my day and of course I had a LiveJournal account at one point (which I forgot the password to or deleted… not really sure what happened to it).

Blogging, to me and I am sure a lot of other people, is a lot different than a personal journal. Over the past year I have grown my blog to be focused on different aspects of public relations that I love. I will be the first to admit that I am definitely growing and learning more and more about blogging all of the time. I feel like social media is something that everyone always has room to grow and improve on. For me, it is a new project I am going to start at some point this year (hopefully sooner than later!) with my blog. I did not have this idea until I was chatting with Kerry this past Friday when I decided to finally buy my domain name: Be on the lookout in the next couple of weeks for the new project I am starting! I would give you a hint, but I am still in the planning process of where I would like to take this.

So here we are, 3,441 views on my blog later: another year of my blog. My promise to you for this coming year is that I will post at least once a week. I always have a lot to say and I like to share with everyone that follows my blog, but I slacked off this past year. I am also full of goals and new aspects of things I would like to blog about. Hope you are ready for this! I know I am. I am ready to bring it on this year, full force!

Thanks to all of you who take the time to read my blog! You guys inspire me to keep writing. You are all great!